Nick Wardell Named Bob Stoppert Coach of the Year

Nick and Sara WardellThe Stoppert Selection Committee named Bullock Creek’s Nick Wardell as this year’s Bob Stoppert Coach of the Year.  The Bob Stoppert Coach of the Year award was established to recognize a coach who has done an outstanding job of coaching the previous fall, winter or spring sports season. As a father, coach, and role model, Bob Stoppert devoted a majority of his life investing in young people.  In addition to his coaching experience, Stoppert was also a teacher at Midland High School, a member of the Lions Club for 56 years, an active member of the Methodist Church, and a veteran of the U.S. Navy.

Almost seven years ago, a group of friends and the Stoppert family started a fund with the Midland Area Community Foundation to recognize Bob and Bobbie Stoppert’s contribution to the community of Midland. They formed not only the Coach of the Year Award, but two funds to assist educators, one being a scholarship fund for aspiring teachers, the other a fund to honor Bobbie Stoppert’s dedication to Chestnut Hill Elementary School.

Nick Wardell certainly exemplifies the community spirit and love of sports displayed by Bob Stoppert.  As a wrestling coach, Mr. Wardell has provided exceptional service to the students at Bullock Creek High School moving them from a 2003-2004 team win record of 3 wins to a 2010-2011team win record of 26.  Under Nick’s guidance, the Bullock Creek High School 2010-2011 wrestling team was the Tri-Valley Central Conference Champion, and District Champion, Regional Champion and a State Qualifier in MHSAA competition.  This dramatic improvement in the team’s performance is self-explanatory.  However, Nick’s respect of the students he works with has made for not only a winning team, but a team that grew academically as well. As reported by a parent ”  …he encourages them to strive in academics, as a result, this year the wrestling team has been awarded Academic All State Recognition.”

In addition to constant improvement of his team’s performance, Nick’s mentorship has inspired his students to never give up.  The great attitude evidenced by his teams is present in Nick himself as he served as a volunteer football and wrestling coach at H.H. Dow High School in the 2002-2003 school year.

The award was presented to Mr. Wardell on September 20 during a dinner at the Midland Country Club hosted by the Lions Club. Lions Club members, friends of Bob Stoppert, Midland Area Community Foundation staff and Nick Wardell’s family and colleagues attended to honor him as the recipient of the Bob Stoppert Coach of the Year award.

It is clear that Nick Wardell is a talented and dedicated coach who has proven his long standing commitment to youth in our community based on his record. The Midland Area Community Foundation is honored to manage the fund and coordinate a selection committee to make this award possible.