Retired Wayne coach receives Ed Johnson Award


Rocky Ruhl received the Ed Johnson Award this year. Ruhl has had 34 years of coaching experience at Wayne.

Ruhl's dedication to student-athletes and coaches at Wayne High School and throughout the state of Nebraska is hard to match.

Having spent the bulk of his career coaching boys' basketball, Coach Ruhl also led cross country teams for 30 years and served as Athletic Director from 1998-2017.

He coached six state qualifying boys' basketball teams, earning a 360-194 overall record, and was twice elected to coach the NCA all-star game.

After he retired as head coach in 2013, Ruhl returned to coach the freshman boys in 2016-2017, then headed up the girls' basketball team for three seasons before retiring again in 2021.

A Past-President of the NCA, Rocky was a leader on the NCA board for 12 years, while also assisting the NSAA through Rep Assembly and as a District Chair, and was a long-time member of the NSIAAA.

A national finalist NHSACA Athletic Director, Ruhl is currently representing Nebraska as NHSACA 2nd Vice President and will be heading up the clinic partnership with NHSACA at the NCA multi-sport clinic in 2023 as NHSACA President.

His dedication and service to the student-athletes at Wayne HS, as well as to the coaches and educators in Nebraska, is greatly appreciated by the NCA staff and Board of Directors.

Rocky and his wife Sylvia have two children - Regan (Nathan) and Reggie (Halsey) - and one granddaughter, Brogan.

"I was humbled and honored when I first got the letter," Ruhl said. "I got goosebumps and it was a pretty big thrill. To have my name on an award with 40 some other names is a great honor.

"It means a lot after having a career where I got to work with great kids and parents and together we had great success and fun times. I want to thank everyone in Wayne because it's not just for me, but for all my assistants and everyone involved at Wayne High School. I also want to thank my family who provided extraordinary inspiration during my career."