Mike Eierman, a former assistant coach for Missouri wrestling and head coach of the Rock Bridge Wrestling Club, will be honored with the Hometown Hero Award on Oct 22.
The award recognizes well-respected coaches that mold the next generation of athletes both on and off of the field.
Eierman, who has been a wrestling coach for 17 years, is the head coach and owner of Eierman Elite Wrestling Club, which according to his award citation is one of the most respected wrestling clubs in the country. Eierman has trained Missouri wrestling standouts such as J’den Cox and Ben Askren.
Cox, an Olympic medalist, three-time NCAA All-American and two-time world champion, grew up training with Eierman. Askren, who now competes with UFC, worked with Eierman from 2003-07 as a member of the Missouri wrestling team.
However, some of Eierman’s biggest accomplishments have come off of the mat.
Jaydin Clayton, who nominated Eierman for the award, began wrestling at the Eierman Elite Wrestling Club when he was 6. Clayton lacked a father figure as a child, but that changed when he met Eierman.
Their relationship evolved as time went on, and by the time Clayton moved to MU for college, he adopted Eierman’s last name to honor his coach.
As a wrestler himself, Eierman was a resident of the U.S. Olympic Training Center from 2000-03. He won multiple medals in International Freestyle Tournaments in countries such as Russia, Ukraine and Italy. As a wrestler with Nebraska, Eierman was named an NCAA All-American in 1993.
Quicken Loans and FloSports will honor the Fulton native with a $25,000 check at the Eierman Elite Wrestling Club in Fulton at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. Over 1,000 participants were entered into the competition before five finalists were selected.
For the final vote, Eierman’s campaign made a video that describes his path to being both a coach and a father figure to many of the athletes he teaches.
This is the first time ever that the Hometown Hero Award named two winners. Pam Kitchen of Panama City, Florida, was also honored for her work as a gymnastics coach in spite of her struggles with cancer.