IOWA CITY, Iowa — The Hawkeye Wrestling Club announced Friday that former HWC president Randy Novak has been named recipient of the third annual Rob McReynolds Passion Award.
Novak served as HWC president from 2017-21. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, resident oversaw unprecedented growth in HWC fundraising and engagement. He is credited with raising the HWC profile across the globe and establishing the Inner Circle, a grassroots fundraising campaign that financially supports HWC competitors and provides exclusive benefits to HWC members.
The Rob McReynolds Passion Award is presented annually to a member of the HWC community who best displays the characteristics that define the late Rob McReynolds’ life as a husband, father, friend, athlete, coach, mentor and businessman.
Those characteristics include directing endless energy toward achieving a desired outcome, inspiring others to achieve their highest potential, and providing loving support and compassion for those around him. Eligible recipients include club athletes, club coaches/staff, fans and supporters.
Forrest Molinari was honored with the inaugural award in 2019. Beth and Steve Reese were recognized in 2020.
“I was lucky enough to witness Rob personally hand out this award in 2019. It was important to him and it has a lot of meaning to me. This isn’t simply a “wall hanger.” I think of the great qualities of the people who were honored before me and feel very fortunate to be included in that company. Awards of any kind never really seemed important to me until I thought about Rob’s legacy, and to be compared in some way to his passion is the highest compliment. I am incredibly thankful.”
“This award meant so much to Rob because without a doubt he had great admiration for Iowa’s wrestling program. I want to sincerely thank the Hawkeye Wrestling Club for continuing to honor my husband. But even more importantly, I’d like to recognize Randy Novak for his tireless commitment and dedication to the HWC. He was a dear friend to Rob and a mentor when my husband joined the board. Randy is an extremely humble individual who has made incredible contributions to this organization. For that, I offer my sincere thanks and congratulations.”
Iowa head coach Tom Brands:
“Randy Novak made Hawkeye Wrestling better. He made it way better. He was organized. He was driven. He did it step by step from the grass roots up. Our bedrock is stronger. Our brand is more visible. Our athletes feel it. Our fans see it. I love it. Congrats to Randy. In the name of Rob McReynolds, this award is earned, deserved and a celebration of Randy’s leadership. ”
Iowa associate head coach Terry Brands:
“Rob is a shining lamp stand for all of HWC donors and fans to look to. He is a legendary inspiration to me and made really great connections with the coaches and wrestlers of the HWC. His spirit lives within this organization. It is no surprise that Randy wins this award. They were great friends and had similar ideas on promoting and pushing this club to new heights.”
HWC Executive Director Chad Beatty:
“This award is our way of paying tribute to the passionate people that inspire others to achieve great heights. Randy Novak is exactly the type of person this award was designed to honor. Randy has been a mainstay of the HWC for the past decade and has been an instrumental part of the growth and development of our world class club. We can’t thank him enough, congratulations.”
HWC President Mitch Kelly:
“I have been on the board since the Gable years and can’t think of a board member who has done more for the Hawkeye Wrestling Club than Randy Novak, and we’ve had some great board members. He is in a class of his own.”
About Rob McReynolds:
Born in Dodgeville, Wisconsin, Rob McReynolds moved to the Hawkeye State with his family in 1964. He graduated from DeWitt Central High School in 1977, lettering as a three-sport athlete in baseball, football, and wrestling. Rob excelled in wrestling and set the school single-season record with 31 wins in 1977. He did not win the Iowa State Wrestling Tournament and ironically, this disappointment became a driving force for many things he did over the next thirty years.
After their marriage in 1981, Rob and his wife, Barb moved to Colorado. There, he began his 36-year career in the roofing business. He purchased D&D Roofing Inc. in 1997. With enthusiasm, trust, and hard work, he built an incredible customer base. He was committed to keeping his customers happy, and every employee was aware of this priority. In addition, the company won job workmanship awards from the Colorado Roofing Association (CRA) for 15 consecutive years. Nationally, D&D Roofing ranked as high as 16th based on total sales volume and they consistently finished in the top 40 in the U.S. In 2014, D&D Roofing won the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) prestigious Gold Circle Award for the job of the year.
During his career in roofing, Rob held many leadership roles for both the CRA and the NRCA. In the roofing industry, it was well known that Rob raised the bar for roofing contractor standards. Starting in 2003, he worked on over 19 different committees for the NRCA for 10 years. He was the president of the National Roofing Legal Resource Center in 2008. Rob also served as a director for the NRCA from 2003 to 2007 and was later promoted to vice president of the NRCA Executive Board from 2009 to 2011. Rob was the president of the CRA in 2004. In 2013, Rob won the Lifetime Achievement Award from the CRA. Rob sold D&D Roofing Inc. in January of 2016 and managed the transition for the new owners for two years until retiring in January of 2018.
A loving husband and father, Rob and his wife raised two daughters. As a family, they suffered the loss of a three-month old son who died of SIDS in 1987. Without a doubt, Rob was devastated. He found an outlet to ease his pain through coaching High School wrestling in Colorado. Those who wrestled for him knew that Coach McReynolds required dedication and commitment, but they also recognized that he sincerely cared to make them better at their sport and outstanding young men. He coached for a span of 10 years through 1996. The pinnacle of Rob’s coaching career came from 1993 through 1995. For those three consecutive years, Rob coached the wrestler of the year in the state of Colorado. Those three wrestlers had a combined record of 107 wins with zero losses. Rob also coached a Colorado Cadet and Junior National team from 1992 to 1995.
Rob was passionate about everything in life and was known for his high energy, drive, and determination. An avid Hawkeye wrestling fan, Rob was a board member of the Hawkeye Wrestling Club. He attended 34 NCAA wrestling tournaments and was a member of the National Wrestling Coaches Association for 25 years. With his family at his side, Rob passed away in September 2019 following a bout with cancer.
About the Hawkeye Wrestling Club:
Since its inception in 1973, the focus of Hawkeye Wrestling Club has been to provide the training, coaching and resources necessary to help our athletes pursue their dreams of becoming World and Olympic Champions. The money raised through the HWC goes directly to benefit the athletes helping with living expenses, training and traveling needs. Maybe the most important aspect of the HWC is its pursuit in trying to get the best post-collegiate athletes to train with the HWC together in Iowa City to attain the ultimate prize in wrestling… World and Olympic gold medals.