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Life remembered: Danville wrestling coach’s ‘imprint will live on forever’ | Sports

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Life remembered: Danville wrestling coach’s ‘imprint will live on forever’ | Sports

DANVILLE — Terrence Tetter attempted to help every Danville High School student he possibly could, according to those who knew him well.

That doesn’t mean the longtime Vikings wrestling coach wasn’t willing to play a prank on those same kids if the opportunity presented itself.

Danville boys’ basketball coach Durrell Robinson recalls his team and Tetter’s team sharing gymnasium space, which could lead to Tetter being around for the end of the basketball workouts.

“I would have a free-throw line at the end of practice, but you can’t leave until the last person makes two. We could be in there all day,” Robinson said. “So if wrestling got done a little earlier, Coach Tetter would pop up and he’d look in and start banging on the door to distract the free-throw shooters.”

Tetter died last Saturday at age 46 after a battle with brain cancer.

“It was a shock and a huge loss to the community,” said Robinson, who knew Tetter from age 5 onward. “Terrence impacted so many people, especially young people through wrestling and even beyond that. He had that soul you connected with.”

Tetter spent 13 years with Danville’s wrestling program, including the last 10 as the head coach. He also was a special-education teacher in the Vikings’ school district.

Danville athletic director Mark Bacys said Tetter would assist with anything Bacys needed help with, such as event supervision and crowd control.

“He was a figure of the high school and a fixture of the high school for a long time,” Bacys said. “We got accustomed to seeing him and always having him around. He was genuine in his interactions with everyone he was around.”

Tetter was a 1993 Danville graduate and an Army veteran. Tetter being a lifelong Viking, Robinson said, made his interactions with the younger generation even more meaningful

“He was them at some point,” Robinson said. “Once a kid realizes you care, they’re going to care. So he brought a lot of great things out of a lot of young men who didn’t realize all the greatness they had.”

DeMarko Wright, assistant principal at Danville’s Freshman Academy, met Tetter in middle school, and the two graduated from high school in the same class.

Wright said Tetter was the consummate people person. Tetter’s obituary in The News-Gazette including the line “although Terrence did not have any biological children, he was a father to many” proves as much.

“To a lot of students, he’s like a father figure they looked up to. He was all about young people reaching their full potential,” Wright said. “I could remember him in halls on many days talking to young people, just giving … words of encouragement.”

Tetter also went by the nickname “Bebop” because of his role as sergeant at arms for Killer Bees MC, a Danville motorcycle club.

He, Robinson and Vikings football coach Marcus Forrest all were close, as well. Robinson remembers the trio shooting the breeze on evenings when their team practices happened to be finishing up around the same time.

“He had a way of touching a lot of people in the right way,” Robinson said. “That was even before him teaching and coaching.”

Tetter’s coaching led to five Class 2A state wrestling medals among his host of athletes: three for Anthony Turner between 2016 and 2019 (fifth place at 120 pounds, fourth at 132 and runner-up at 145) and one apiece for Marcus Carpenter (second at 103 in 2004) and Porfirio Perez (sixth at 160 in 2017).

Bacys is hopeful the school can establish a scholarship and an invitational meet in Tetter’s name.

“We haven’t hosted a wrestling invite in a long time. I think that’d be a fitting tribute to him,” Bacys said. “I know he would love it.”

Wright became emotional upon thinking about Tetter’s voice not being available to students in the Vikings’ wrestling room and beyond.

“He was so authentic. He had a strong conviction,” Wright said. “He’s definitely left a good impression in the work that he does with our young people. He would challenge us to continue that work.”

Colin Likas is the preps coordinator at The News-Gazette. He can be reached at [email protected], or on Twitter at @clikasNG.