Former Northern Illinois University wrestler Dan Ruettiger has been named Fremd High School’s next head wrestling coach. Ruettiger, who will replace retiring 24-year veteran coach Ralph Cortez, has served as the Vikings’ assistant wrestling coach the past two seasons.
While at NIU, Ruettiger was a four-time varsity letter winner, a two-time Mid-American Conference place winner and team captain his senior year. He graduated from NIU as a Scholar Baller (NCAA endorsed athlete with a 3.0 grade point average) in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and a minor in health.
Ruettiger was an assistant wrestling coach and physical education teacher at Yorkville High School for one year (2011-2012), helping the Foxes to a second-place finish in the IHSA State Class 2A Finals and coaching three individual state medalists. Prior to his stint at Yorkville High School, Ruettiger coached at Lockport East High School for a year (2010-2011) while completing his student teaching and working with three state medalists and one state champion. In 2013, Ruettiger moved to Fremd High School, teaching physical education and serving as an assistant coach under Cortez.
“We’re excited to transition the Fremd High School wrestling program to Dan Ruettiger,” commented Fremd Principal-Elect Kurt Tenopir. “He has some tough footsteps to follow with Ralph Cortez retiring, but Dan’s enthusiasm, energy, and love of wrestling make him the right person for this job.”
Ruettiger was a four-time state wrestling qualifier at Providence Catholic High School in New Lenox, contributing heavily to one state title and two runner-up finishes. He also earned FILA Cadet All-American, Fargo All-American, and Senior National All-American honors before continuing his collegiate wrestling career at Northern.