SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Former track athletes and fans of Rich Greeno are hoping to memorialize the legendary coach with a full-size statue. Greeno died in 2017 at the age of 88 but his impact in KELOLAND still lives on.
Rich Greeno connected with numerous athletes and people over a decades-long career in track and cross country at Lincoln High School and the University of Sioux Falls.
"Coach isn't here anymore right now but his legacy is. It gets passed on to every kid that I touch and hopefully they'll do the same," Matt Kiesow said.
Kiesow ran for Greeno at Lincoln in the 1980s. He now coaches cross country at Patrick Henry and teaches at New Tech. When coach died, he says a group got together wanting to memorialize the man who impacted so many. So they contacted local sculptor Darwin Wolf.
"And I took their descriptions and the photos and combined those into a pose that I thought was appropriate. It does show his loose running style. The loose hands and the OK sign. Smiling as he runs," Wolf said.
Wolf didn't know Greeno personally but he learned a lot about the coach creating this model over three months.
"This is one great soul that I missed," Wolf said. "I get to know many of my subjects more so after they're gone. I would prefer to see them more in life."
This piece is now in the mold-making process at a local foundry. Bronze models could be ready in three weeks with a full-size statue completed around nine months from now.
"It's a cool project. I'm excited. I can't wait to see the full-size statue when it's done. I think it will be emotional for a lot of people. I'm excited about that," Kiesow said.