Special to the Herald
MORRISON, Ill. —
Dan Drosopoulos, former wrestling coach at Morrison High School, will be inducted into the Illinois Wrestling Hall of Fame on Feb. 15 before the quarterfinals of the Illinois high school state tournament in Champaign.
Drosopoulos also will be honored for his contribution to the sport as an athlete and a coach at an honors banquet and program on April 20 in Countryside, Ill.
Drosopoulos came from a sports-oriented family in Savanna, Ill. His father was a boxer and his older brother, Sam, participated in wrestling in high school. Sam was instrumental in encouraging his brother to try wrestling, which he did in sixth grade.
From there, Drosopoulos kept competing and remained in the sport after his days of competition ended.
He wrestled for Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill., winning the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin title at 126 pounds in 1974, and competed in the U.S. Olympic Trials in 1972, 1976, 1980 and 1984. His high school coach, Charlie Anderson, served as his coach for his first two Trials, and brother Sam managed his final Trials. He also qualified for the National World Trials in 1976 and 1980 and participated in old-timers wrestling tournaments, too.
His passion for wrestling, along with football and track, led him to his desire to coach.
For 31 years he coached several sports in Morrison, including wrestling, football and Little League.
“A desire to help young people develop into good athletes and therefore good citizens,” was the philosophy he followed.
Even in retirement he can’t stay away from wrestling. He has assisted in clinics for junior and senior high schools, done summer camps and helped coach and practice with high school teams.
Along with the numerous former students and athletes whose lives he has affected, his two sons also followed in his footsteps. Tom wrestled from kindergarten through college and now is the head coach at Illini Bluffs High School in Glasford, Ill., where he also teaches. Matt wrestled from sixth grade through his freshman year in college and now works for the sherriff’s department in Dubuque.
Anyone interested in tickets to the honors banquet and program should contact Drosopoulos at (815) 772-3882 by Feb. 12. Businesses interested in a congratulatory sponsorship may reserve space on the program by contacting Rob Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org.