When your role model is one of the top 50 winningest high school coaches of all time, and when that role model honors you with a scholarship, you want to make that man proud as you follow in his legacy.

New UCC wrestling coach Kyle Temple, a graduate of Sweet Home High School, is following Norm Davis, his role model, in his career decision to build a legacy. Davis was a wrestling coach at Sweet Home High School for 30 years. After those 30 years, Davis was honored in 1997 by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame with their Lifetime Service to Wrestling award for the Oregon chapter.

During Temple’s junior year of high school, coach Davis passed away due to cancer, and a scholarship was formed in his name. In Temple’s senior year of high school, Temple was awarded the Norm Davis Memorial Scholarship.

“To this day I keep it up on my classroom walls. I don’t care a whole lot about my personal accolades in high school or college. I care that I was considered for an award that honored the legacy of such an outstanding individual, and I want to make him proud and follow in his legacy,” Temple said.

Coach Temple is certainly following Davis in his career decision. It was announced back in April that Temple will coach the RiverHawks’ Men’s wrestling team.

Temple has 12 years of coaching experience in wrestling. He is also currently the Cottage Grove High School girl’s golf coach. Temple additionally coached middle school football and is the junior level age director for the Oregon Wrestling Association. “For that role, I coach some of the best wrestlers in high school in Oregon at regional and national level tournaments,” Temple said.

Coaching the best high school wrestlers on the national stage gives Temple a lot of experience for UCC’s brand new program.

Temple was also head wrestling coach at Sprague High School, Stayton High School and Cottage Grove High School as well as the assistant wrestling coach at Sweet Home High School.

Temple’s introduction to wrestling was a little different than other wrestlers. He began wrestling in a mat club, but he hated it. He said to himself that he would never do it again. But in middle school, all of his friends wrestled. “Honestly it was peer pressure. I didn’t want to wrestle, but I wanted to do what all of my friends were doing. The individual aspect of the sport really connected with me,” Temple said. That was when Temple saw what wrestling has to offer and accepted it.

Temple went on to wrestle in middle and in high school and then wrestled and studied at Southern Oregon University for five years (redshirting his freshman year).

Wrestlers who will compete for Temple should be willing to accept a lot of running and weightlifting. There will also be some tumbling and yoga. Temple stated, “You have to be in great shape, strong, limber, and know how to control your body in order to be successful at wrestling. Our practices will be intense and raise the temperature of the workout room. We will work hard, and we will work smart. We will focus on the individual to better the team.”

In his first season coaching for UCC wrestling, Temple stated that all seven out of his seven recruits have decided to wrestle for UCC. Temple anticipates by the end of May to have the full 30 wrestlers to fill all ten weight classes.

UCC will be a part of the National Junior College Athletic Association. Temple stated that UCC will participate in region 18, competing against Southwestern Oregon Community College, Clackamas Community College, Highline Community College and North Idaho College.

It will be a challenging league. “Wrestlers will need to place third or higher to advance to the national tournament,” Temple said.

The NJCAA’s mission is “to foster a national program of athletic participation in an environment that supports equitable opportunities consistent with the educational objectives of member colleges.” The NJCAA consists of 24 different regions with participating teams in baseball, basketball, bowling, cross country, football, golf, the half-marathon, ice hockey, lacrosse, softball, swimming, diving, tennis, track and field, volleyball and wrestling.