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Serving the university for 31 years, Roger Denker has helped many young people strive to reach their potential as students and as athletes. He retired this year as professor emeritus of physical education.
Denker’s lengthy career in education includes both high school and college-level teaching and coaching assignments. His first job was in 1956 at Spearfish High School, Spearfish, S.D., where he served as a physical education teacher, wrestling and football coach. After two years, he left that position for a similar one at a high school in Casper, Wyo., where he spent three years before arriving at Central in 1963.
Beginning his college teaching career as an instructor in physical education, he climbed the ranks of academia and eventually became a full professor. His tenure at Central includes serving as head wrestling coach from 1963 to 1981, assistant football coach from 1963 to 1972, and acting athletic director from 1980 to 1981.
Denker’s college education includes bachelor’s and master’s degrees from South Dakota State University, Brookings, S.D., and a doctorate from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. His professional memberships include the American and Missouri Associations of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance and the National Wrestling Coaches Association.
Earning respect and recognition by his peers, Denker was inducted into the South Dakota Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Missouri Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame in 1994.
He and his wife, Constance, have two sons, Hay and Kel, and one daughter Michele.