Eric Whitcome graduated from Waverly – Shell Rock High School in 2002 and was a two-time state qualifier, finishing third at 152 pounds as a senior. He was also a two-time Northeast Iowa Conference champion for the Go-Hawks. Whitcome became head coach at his alma mater in 2012 and has led Waverly – Shell Rock to nine NEIC team titles while crowing 54 individual NEIC champions. His teams have qualified for eight State Dual Team Championships, finishing second twice, third three times, and fourth and fifth before capturing the school’s fifth title in 2021. Whitcome’s teams have finished in the Top 40 in the National High School Rankings three times and he has a career dual record of 225-98. His teams won the Iowa State High School State Tournament team title in 2019, 2020 and 2021 while finishing third in 2014 and fourth in 2013 and 2016. In 13 seasons, Whitcome has coached 89 state qualifiers, 65 state medal winners, 23 finalists and 12 state champions. He has helped coach four Junior Freestyle All-Americans, three U16 Cadet Freestyle All-Americans, three UWW Cadet Freestyle All-Americans, three U15 Freestyle All-Americans and two U16 Greco-Roman All-Americans.
Whitcome’s wrestlers have had success at the next level with four NCAA Division III All-Americans, an NCAA Division I and an Division II All-American and five NCAA Division I qualifiers. He and his staff were honored in 2014 as the Iowa High School Class 3A Head Coach and Coaching Staff of the Year. Whitcome began Waverly – Shell Rock’s girls wrestling program in 2019 and it has won the Iowa Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association State Championship in 2019, 2020 and 2021. He has coached six girls state champions, 12 finalists, and nine place-winners while being named NWCA’s Iowa Girls Wrestling Coach of the Year.
Bob Siddens Iowa High School Coaching Excellence Award