More than a decade after he wrapped up his record-setting wrestling career at Delta, Eric Kerkhof got the call.
The former Purdue wrestler will soon have the title of hall of famer.
Kerkhof, a 1996 graduate of Delta and two-time state champion, will be one of six wrestlers in the 2013 class of the Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Kerkhof learned he was selected in late fall, but the public announcement came early this week.
“It’s definitely an honor to be accepted,” Kerkhof said. “You think back to all the hard work that you put in and time and sacrifices that you make. And to see it kind of pay off, even years later after your wrestling career is over, it’s definitely exciting.
“When I got the call, I was all smiles.”
Kerkhof won 183 matches in his time with the Eagles, still the most in the history of the program. His sophomore, junior and senior season totals of 48, 49 and 50 wins stand as the top three marks for the Eagles.
He won his 135-pound state crowns in 1994 and 1996, and the second was the last for an area wrestler until 2010.
After a senior season that included his second title and an eighth-place finish at nationals, Kerkhof moved on to wrestle with the Boilermakers. He earned an eighth-place Big Ten finish at 145 as a freshman, but after his sophomore season, decided to move on from the sport.
“I actually kind of focused more on school … wrestling was going to end at college,” Kerkhof said. “I wanted to graduate in four years and get out in the working world.”
He now works in Lafayette, Ind., as senior business analyst at Navion Healthcare and will move to Indianapolis with his wife and children in March.