Holt High School
Rupert “Rocky” Shaft has been coaching wrestling for forty-six years, and still counting! He began his coaching career in 1973 as an assistant coach for the Holt wrestling club and continued for eleven years. In 1976 Rocky served as a volunteer coach for the Kalamazoo Central wrestling team and in 1977 served as a volunteer coach for Portage Central wrestling team. He moved on to be an assistant wrestling coach at Jackson High School in 1978 and in 1979 was hired as an assistant coach at Holt High School. Rocky has been the head coach of the Holt High School wrestling team since 1981 with a 599-106 record. During this time his teams have earned twenty-four league titles, thirty -four district titles, three state titles, one runner up finish and twenty-six top ten finishes. His teams have also produced one hundred ninety-one league champions, eighty-one state placers, eighteen state champions, one hundred ninety-nine state qualifiers and forty-eight wrestlers with 100+ wins.
Rocky is well respected by his peers for his coaching and sportsmanship and has been recognized on several occasions for his accomplishments. He has been named MWA State Coach of the Year (1996), received numerous Regional Coach of the Year Awards, many area (Lansing) Coach of the Year Awards, is a two time nominee for National Coach of the Year (NHSACA) and finalist, was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame (Stillwater, OK), inducted into the Michigan Wrestling Association Hall of Fame, inducted into the Holt Athletic Hall of Fame and the Greater Lansing Sports Hall of Fame.
Rocky has promoted his sport and student athletes as the USA Michigan Junior Open director from 1979-1983. He also served as president of the Holt Wrestling Club from 1981-1983, and continues to serve on the Holt Wrestling Club Board. Since 1979 he has also helped host 200+ tournaments. He has also been honored with the Modern Woodman of America Home Town Hero Award and the Top of the Town High School Coaches Award for the Lansing Area.