Steig reflects on 30 years as Reed City wrestling coach

REED CITY — It’s been 30 years since Roger Steig decided to join the Reed City wrestling coaching staff. 

He smiles while speculating that perhaps it could be another 30 years before he leaves.

Steig was recognized for his 30 years recently during the Reed City Wrestling Invitational. He said there’s been a Reed City Invitational on usually the same weekend ever since he joined the staff.

“He’s an amazing coach and mentor,” Reed City athletic director Kris Griffin said. “His name is definitely connected to Reed City wrestling. When we host tournaments or meet with other ADs and coaches, I always hear how respected he is. He will do anything for his program.”

Steig has been head coach for 15 years. He served the previous 15 as an assistant under Greg Weiss.

“I was coaching at Pine River for seven years,” Steig recalled adding Reed City parent and wrestling fan Carolyn Beilfuss visited me and said Reed City had an opening and wanted me to apply. So I owe a lot to Carolyn. It’s been a great run.”

“He’s very, very, very good to our children,” Beilfuss said. “It’s wonderful.”

Steig, who runs a local trucking company, was an assistant at Pine River.

“He may be a little old fashion,” Griffin said. “He demands a lot from his kids, but they respect him. He coaches wrestling and then goes right into girls softball. He’s a tireless worker.”

Among the highlights during Steig’s coaching tenure was a wrestler, Jason Bull, who recently died, and was in the state finals four times. Andrew DuBreuil was 47-0 one season

“Watching Steven Ruppert and Jake Johnson score 200 wins, that’s all exciting stuff,” Steig said. “I’m not tired of it.”

“He’s got a lot of people who help him and he keeps everyone involved,” Pine River coach Tim Jones said after his team won the Reed City invitational. “He runs a nice tournament over here. He has a good program going. Hopefully he sticks around and keeps the program going.”

Steig also was a wrestler at Reed City.

“Wrestling started as a club team in 1966 and the first official team was during my freshman year in 1967,” Steig said. “I wrestled four years here and went on to wrestle at Ferris. I was a national qualifier for Ferris.”

Steig said he has coached every state wrestling medalist at Reed City except for two grapplers, both of whom were his teammates.

His son, Ryan Steig, has been his assistant this year.

“Dave Carlson, who was my assistant, is at the middle school and is doing a phenomenal job there,” Steig said. “We’re pretty excited with what’s coming in Reed City wrestling. We have 30 kids on our middle school team. That’s going to pay dividends down the road here.”

Asked how many more years he might coach, Steig smiled and said:

“I might be good for another 30.”