Dave Markwell

Fithian (Oakwood)

David Markwell was born in Terre Haute, IN.  He attended Cumberland High School in Toledo, IL and graduated in 1969.  While in high school, Dave played football, basketball, baseball and ran track.  He was named MVP in track three years, MVP in baseball one year, MVP in basketball two years and MVP in football one year.  He also set the school track record in the 120 yard high hurdles and 180 yard low hurdles.  He was voted into the Cumberland H.S. Basketball Hall of Fame in 1969.  Dave also made the All-Area Selection in football and basketball, was selected All Conference in football and basketball and was a state qualifier for the hurdles in 1968 and 1969.  He was named Cumberland High School Male Athlete of the Year in 1969.

Dave went on to McKendree College on a basketball-baseball scholarship.  He graduated from McKendree in 1973 with a major in physical education, history and social science.  He played baseball while at McKendree, lettering all four years and was selected captain his senior year.  He also played basketball for three years.

Dave began his teaching career at Westfield High School where he taught history, P.E. and Health from 1974 to 1976.  He was also the head coach for cross country, basketball, baseball and track.

At the end of the 1976 school year, Dave moved to Newton High school for one year.  He then moved to Zuni, New Mexico to teach on an Indian Reservation.  He taught history and was the assistant basketball coach and head girls track coach.

Dave then moved to Beecher City High School where he taught history and P.E.  He served as Athletic Director for six years.  He coached basketball and was the head baseball coach.  His team finished 2nd in the IHSA State Tournament.  He was voted Decatur Herald Baseball Coach of the Year as well as the Effingham Area Baseball Coach of the Year in 1983.  Dave coached the East-West All Star Baseball game that season and served on the IHSA Baseball Advisory Committee from 1983 to 1988.

In 1984 moved to St. Joseph-Ogden as a history and P.E. teacher and as an assistant coach for football and as the head baseball coach and head wrestling coach.  Dave coached the school’s first state place-winner in 1988.  None of the previous schools that Dave taught at had a wrestling program, so this was his first experience in the sport.  He attended clinics, camps and sought the advice of area coaches to help him to learn the sport.

Dave took the reins of the Fithian (Oakwood) wrestling program in 1988.  He also served as an assistant in football and baseball and head track coach.  In 1991, the Oakwood School Board voted to drop the wrestling program.  Dave met with board members and they agreed that the sport could continue if $3000 was raised.  By November 1st the money was raised.  The program continues, however, with a reduced schedule for the next three years.  Dave did not receive a coaching stipend during this period.  During that time Dave organized ways to raise money every year and had a state qualifier during that time.  Finally, the board reinstated the program in the 1994-95 season.  Dave still continues to raise monies for him to buy uniforms, room and meals for sectional and state.  Oakwood has developed into a solid wrestling program.  Dave has hosted wrestling camp in the summer for all surrounding schools to attend.

In 2008 Dave achieved his 300th career win as a wrestling coach and also received the Bronze Award from the IWCOA.  He was named Coach of the Year by the Danville Commercial-New eleven times, his team won nine county titles, eight conference crowns and four regional championships.  He coached thirty-three state qualifiers, ten state place-winners and one All-American.  His career coaching record was 315-156-8.  Dave will retire from coaching at the end of the 2009 season.