Social media reports poured in on Sunday as friends offered their prayers and concerns to former Syracuse-Dunbar-Avoca wrestling coach Chad Fuller.
According to a story printed by the Columbus Telegram, Fuller was severely injured in an accident at a lake near St. Paul on Saturday.
Fuller has served as a principal for the David City school system since 2014. Chad Denker, the superintendent for David City, confirmed to the Columbus paper that Fuller had suffered a broken neck resulting in paralyzation and is facing a long recovery.
Prior to taking the job in David City, Fuller served as a teacher and coach at S-D-A from 2005 to 2014. He taught social studies and coached wrestling, track and junior high football.
The Rocket wrestling program experienced much success during Fuller’s time with the Rockets. In 2008, S-D-A took second at the individual state tournament. A third place finish followed in 2011.
Five individual Rockets won state titles under Fuller’s guidance with those wrestlers being Wesley Brammier, 2005; Ben Lierman, 2008; Jacob Manley, 2009; Nyle Bartling, 2011; and Matt Clark, 2013.
S-D-A Superintendent Brad Buller said Fuller developed strong and positive relationships with his wrestlers at S-D-A and added that many of those relationships still exist.
“He was well liked by everyone, especially his wrestlers,” Buller said. “Our thoughts and prayers are certainly with him and his family.”
John Essink, a former wrestler of Fuller’s at S-D-A, offered the following Facebook post that serves as an example of the sentiments that Fuller’s wrestlers were expressing after hearing news of the coach’s injury.
“Words can't describe how amazing of a coach you were for all of the Syracuse wrestlers coach Chad Fuller,” Essink wrote. “You always treated us as your own sons and brought us together as a family. You taught us many valuable life lessons not only on the mat but off the mat as well. We are all praying for a quick and healthy recovery from such a tragic event. We all love you so much and we know you are a fighter, just like you taught us to be fighters. You are a great role model and coach. Praying for you coach, love you.”