LITTLE CHUTE, Wis. (WFRV) — It’s a Saturday afternoon in May.
Just like he has for the past 29 years, Gary Reybrock is enjoying the day at a track invitational.
Just like those past 29 years, Reybrock won’t be paid for his time coaching high schoolers as they circle around the track.
“I already told them a long time ago, if they tried to pay me, I would quit,” the Little Chute High School Assistant Track Coach said. “That’s not what I do it for.”
Retiring from his career as a banker in 1996, Reybrock had already started as a track coach for Little Chute.
“So that allowed me at the end of my banking career to be able to get out of work a little early and go coach track,” he said.
29 years later, he spends as much time possible surrounded by the sport.
“I was at one this morning, watching my grandkids run in Weyauwega,” he said. “They ran this morning, and I get to come and coach our team this afternoon.”
Reybrock admits he was never a runner himself: “I was weak asthmatic who couldn’t run a block.”
He has his kids to thank for introducing him to track.
“I had kids running,” he explained. “They were good athletes. [I] Started at the grade school level and I just followed, I just kept getting pulled up.”
Now, he’s a part of the track tradition at Little Chute.
“I’ve got grandparents who I grew up with that I coached their kids,” Reybrock said. “Now I’m coaching their grandkids.”
“He’s been just an impactful coach in coaches, parents, and athletes’ lives,” Head Track Coach for Little Chute High School James Brooks said.
According to Reybrock, it’s his life that’s been impacted.
“They keep me young,” he said. “I get more out of it then they do.”
He’s spent hundreds of Saturdays coaching students as they round the four corners of the track.
“Any day there’s a track meet is a good day,” he said.
For Reybrock, a good day doesn’t have to include a win.
“They’re here not to win every race, just to beat themselves,” he said of his athletes, “to beat their own, to get better, and that’s what it’s all about. It’s lessons in life.”
Lessons in life he’s coaching Little Chute’s next generation through.
That’s an important job to him, as someone who grew up in the community.
“I grew up there when it was really small, it’s gotten bigger,” he said of the town. “Used to know everybody in town and this is a way to keep connected with everyone else.”
That connection growing so strong, there’s now a track invitational named in his honor.
“We’re here to celebrate and transition from our Mustang Invite to the Gary Reybrock Invitational,” Brooks said earlier in May, at the event where Reybrock was surprised with the name change. “To see his family here and to see former athletes that we’ve coached throughout the years come support us and be a part of this is just fantastic, and just shows how great this community is.”
It’s a community Reybrock plans on serving as long as he can.
“As long as I have my health and I’m capable of doing this, why quit? One more year, we always say,” he said.
As long as he can, Reybrock looks forward to spending ‘One more year’ with the team.
The team looks forward to it, too.