Cedar Rapids' Rob Wagner is Special Olympics coach of the year - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids' Rob Wagner is Special Olympics coach of the year

Rob Wagner Rob Wagner
An employee for the City of Cedar Rapids was named a Special Olympics Coach of the Year.

Rob Wagner, Special Populations Program Supervisor for the Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation Department, was awarded Special Olympics North America 2013 Coach of the Year this week at the Winter Special Olympics banquet in Dubuque.

Wagner and one other coach were chosen from over 120,000 Special Olympic Coaches across North America for this award.

This is the first time in the history of the award that two winners were named.
“Rob Wagner is dedicated to Special Olympics Iowa and our athletes,” says Special Olympic Iowa President and CEO, Hal Pittman. “He embraces all aspects of Special Olympics and encourages every athlete to reach their full potential while creating and celebrating the spirit of being part of a team."

Working  for the Parks and Recreation Department coordinating Special Olympics programs for 23 years,Wagner has been involved in coaching Special Olympics for over 30 years.

Wagner has served in major coaching leadership roles including Iowa’s head softball coach at each of the three Special Olympics USA Games, as a softball coach during the 1999 Special Olympics World Games, and as an alpine ski coach at the 2005 World Games.

He has increased the number of athletes in the Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation Department Special Olympics program by 118 athletes.

After the devastating flood of 2008, he personally saw to it that athletes had facilities to continue training,  and he raised funds to purchase new equipment so that athletes had the equipment they needed to compete.

The Coach of the Year Award was established in the late 1980’s and is given annually to an active, certified Special Olympics coach who has made a significant and demonstrable impact on local Special Olympics Programs and their communities.
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