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What is the definition of a five star performer? Often it is a player who leads his or her team to a big win or makes a name for themselves over a productive career, but really it is a person being able to make a difference in the lives of others.
Making a difference is exactly what Kearney High Wrestling coach Tom McCann has been doing for over forty years.
In this week's Aurora Cooperative Five Star Performer News 5's Kyle Thomas talked with the man who has produced 32 state champions in his 40 years at KHS.
For Tom McCann the list of honors and people touched during his time as a wrestling coach at Kearney high is long and impressive.
310 state qualifiers, 58 state finalists, 32 state champions and not to mention a slew of coach of the year honors.
But for McCann it's not the trophies or the recognition that keeps him going it's knowing he is making a difference in the community every day.
"Being a champion and a successful wrestler and a champion of life that's what it's all about. Seeing guys that I've coached now go on and be president of the board of education, doctors, lawyers, dentists, head coach at Kearney national champions, things of that nature, all walks of life. I mean, the people, the nuts and bolts of a community," said McCann.
Now after 45 years coaching the Bearcats, McCann is hanging up his head gear and retiring.
"We've had tremendous success. I've just had great family support, our booster club administration, great assistant coaches to work with over the years and it's been just a great place to be here and I still love it. And maybe that's a good time to part ways when you're having fun and they still want you and you're having success," said McCann.
As McCann steps away from the Bearcat program he is reminded how everything that's happened in his time here came very close to never happening at all.
"You know, actually I didn't want to come to Kearney. I was at a wrestling camp and I was all set to be a graduate assistant at Adams State and my wife had a job close by and I was all set. I'd never heard of this place really and I thought, no, I'm not. I don't want to, I'm not interested," McCann said.
But after coming to Kearney and seeing what central Nebraska had to offer he couldn't turn down the job and has spent the last four plus decades making his mark with the Bearcats.
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