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DWC names Lambert as head coach

For the first time in 15 years, the Dickinson Wrestling Club has a new head coach. The newest head coach is Nick Lambert and he knows there are some monster shoes to fill. However, receiving the thumbs up from Rick Mellmer -- who volunteered for ...

For the first time in 15 years, the Dickinson Wrestling Club has a new head coach.
The newest head coach is Nick Lambert and he knows there are some monster shoes to fill.
However, receiving the thumbs up from Rick Mellmer - who volunteered for the DWC for 28 years and acted as the head coach for the last 15 - quieted Lambert’s apprehensions about accepting the job.
“I have some awfully big shoes to fill taking over for Rick Mellmer and Mike Armstrong before him,” Lambert said. “I’m just hoping that I can do half as good of a job as those two gentlemen. (Mellmer) said that he’ll always be there for me, so I sure I’ll rely heavily on him.”
Mellmer, whose four sons won a combined 11 North Dakota Class A state championships, is is on the board of directors and he asked Lambert to be the new head coach. For about the last 10 years, Lambert has been an assistant coach under Mellmer.
Though Mellmer has given Lambert the nod of approval, the former 15-year head coach expects the DWC to change for the better.
“I have all of the confidence in the world in him,” Mellmer said. “I’m excited for him. I turned it over to someone that I trust and that had added so much to the program over the years. One of the things that I was worried about when I stepped down was who is going to take this over. I don’t want this thing to die or go backward and with Nick I know it won’t.
“I told Nick after he accepted the job that I don’t expect this program to go backward and I don’t expect it to stay the same. He said, ‘What?’ I said I expect it to get better. I expect this program to be a better program with you in charge than when I was in charge.”
Lambert said what made the decision easier was knowing that Mellmer would be available to give advice or help out during practice.
With Mellmer willing to help during practice, he doesn’t want there to be a mistake on who the head coach in the room - it’s Lambert.
“I told him that I would help him out in any way that I can,” Mellmer said. “I’m still going to stay involved and I’m going to help him coach. He wants me to help him coach, but I told him that I don’t want there to be a doubt on who the new leader in the room is. He’s the man now. I will always be there for him and help him anyway that I can - whether it is advice or whatever.”
In addition to volunteering with the DWC, Lambert has also helped teach judo along with Jeff Ficek at the Roughrider Judo Club for the last 11 years in Dickinson.
Lambert said it was sad to see Mellmer step down.
“He’s been a mentor to me,” Lambert said. “I would have loved to see him stay on, but he has family obligations and that’s understandable.”

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