RAWLINS — The excitement built around new Rawlins High School Wrestling Head Coach Nathan Lee comes from his highly decorated career as a wrestler himself.
A high school All-American and four-time state champion in Arizona, Lee went on to continue his career at Boise State University, where he was a two-time conference champion and four-time NCAA qualifier.
If you don’t believe the stories, his physical appearance still proves it.
He still carries the physical stature and swagger of a Division I athlete; the cauliflower ears lets you know he’s banged heads once or twice and earned every win. But the aggressive and strong wrestler is really an overall nice guy who just wants to help.
Once his career at Boise was over, Lee was invited by one of his former teammates coaching at the University of Northern Colorado (Greeley, Colo.) to come be an assistant. Lee coached the “big guys” at UNC, but took advantage of the new found time to pursue something he’s always wanted to: teaching.
Lee always had an inclination to coach at the high school level rather than collegiate, and getting his degree would open that door. The coach, however, didn’t find Rawlins.
Rawlins found him.
At a job fair at Northern Colorado, RHS Science Teacher Dustin Grant approached Lee, where Lee recalled Grant saying, “You look like a wrestling coach. We could always use wrestling coaches.”
It took some convincing to get his wife — who is a Colorado native — to make the move to Rawlins, but they made it.
Along with the opportunity to help coach the team as an assistant, take a job as a middle school social studies teacher and use the area for his outdoor hobbies like fly fishing, Lee and his family have found comfort in Rawlins, and never looked back.
Once just a helping hand to the program, the entire wrestling community now lies within the palms of Lee.
He’s had to step away from some of the hands on coaching he did as an assistant and being the fun guy for Rawlins’ athletes, but it’s a sacrifice he is willing to make.
Lee has vowed to do whatever it takes to get the maximum potential out of his wrestlers and bring Rawlins the results he feels it deserves.