Beck feeling “very lucky” in first year as Park Hill wrestling coach

Ever since Jacob Beck’s wrestling career ended, he’s had to find ways to keep his competitive edge. Since then his outlet has been coaching.

So when the position of head coach opened at Park Hill High School, it was hard for him to resist the urge to put his name in the hat.

“It’s a pretty coveted spot,” said Beck, who spent the past three seasons at Leavenworth (Kan.) High School. “I was super excited to be even be thought of, to have a chance to interview and take the position when it was offered. It’s a position, even if you have an interest in coaching a high-level program, you can’t not apply for.

“I’m having a blast,” he added. “I’m blessed and super happy to be a part of this program. I feel very lucky.”

Beck, of course, landed the position to operate at the helm of the 10-time state champion Trojans. He admits that his level of preparation as a coach has increased.

“I don’t want to say you get lackadaisical, but if the expectations aren’t high you can kind of coast along,” said Beck, who also spent a total of five seasons at Bonner Springs (Kan.) before his three-year run at Leavenworth. “And these super high expectations that I put on myself that this program has, it’s just more of an incentive to work harder. It’s exciting and I’m happy to be here.

“I’m not really a screamer, but I think the focus and daily preparations have tightened up a bit,” he added. “We’re still young in our season so I don’t want to say it’s more exciting or less exciting, but we’re doing a good job with a good group of kids that like to wrestle. It’s nice to have a solid group of individuals that have put a time into where they’re at, and the fruit of their labor is having success. And hopefully we can continue that.”

These expectations that Beck speaks of are understandable, considering the high level of competition the Trojans face on a weekly basis.

“I’m a fan of wrestling in general,” he said. “And just to be able to see the stages that we’re on, it makes me feel happy to be a part of it. It’s more motivating than worrying about the expectations. Wrestlers just inherently love challenges and this is another challenge put forward.”

The program is well thought of enough that the University of Missouri is willing to host a dual with Virginia in the Park Hill gymnasium — at 7 p.m. on Dec. 20. Being able to showcase Division I-level talent is a testament to the program, Beck says.

“It’s an awesome thing,” he said. “We have a history of kids leaving this program and getting to the Division I level and making into MU specifically. It’s a great sign of where our program has been in the past and what we continue to strive to do, which is put kids out at a high level and be successful.”

Overall, Beck, a Loveland, Colo., native, who was a wrestler at Division II Fort Hays State before becoming an assistant coach there, is pleased to be in a robust wrestling area to do what he enjoys most.

“It’s very humbling. I’m not one that likes the spotlight, but I know that my job is to help young men turn into quality adults, not only wrestlers, but fathers, husbands and students and future leaders,” Beck said. “It’s humbling that the path I’ve taken and the choices that I’ve made and the situations I’ve been put in have put me here, and just excited to keep moving forward and continue to do this amazing job, which is coaching wrestling, teaching weights and being a part of high schoolers lives every day.”