Honoring Coach Rich Greeno
Group Raises Money for Bronze Sculpture
SIOUX FALLS, SD- The creation of a bronze sculpture of a legendary South Dakota track and cross-country coach is underway. Rich Greeno passed away in March of 2017 at the age of 88. He coached at both Lincoln High School and the University of Sioux Falls.
A group called “The Friends of Rich Greeno” raised $125,000 for the memorial It will be a life size statue of Greeno in stride, representing his love of running. Sculptor Darwin Wolf made the first pour of mini statues that will go to major donors.
Greeno loved running both cross-country and track. He ran well into his 80s making it part of his morning routine. Supporters of the project say coach Greeno was a great ambassador for physical fitness and good health in South Dakota. Greeno coached Matt Kiesow and left an impression.
“You start thinking back and the things coach taught you, and you didn’t realize what an impact they would have once you get into the adult stage of your life. And it doesn’t really matter your career, you know I’m a teacher but it also applies to business, he just taught us so many different things, that I didn’t even realize,” said Kiesow.
Darwin Wolf says its intimidating sculpting an icon and unveiling his vision to the family.
“They don’t want to see a formal stiff depiction; they want to see a strong likeness the spirit and who the guy really was. And trying to get all that into a still life with no painted background at all just the sculpture, it’s a challenge.”
Greeno was named to the National High School Sports Hall of Fame in 1999. He was named National High School Track Coach of the Year in 1974 and National Cross Country Coach of the Year in 1990. Matt Kiesow and others in the group say Greeno deserves the recognition.
“It’s the camaraderie that comes with team mates, all those things are the things he emphasized,” said Kiesow. “And he pushed on us and we bought into it. I’m so thankful to be part of that, so the funny thing about that legacy is that legacy lives on.”
Wolf will begin pouring the life size statue on Monday February 25th. The group is still looking for a site for the statue. They are still short of their fund raising goal by $45,000. Donations can be made by going to the organizations website richgreenomemorial.org