Moorhead head wrestling coach Skip Toops’ path toward helping bring the Spuds wrestling program back to the glory days of the late ’70s and early '80s did not go in a straight line. Many times his path started to lead him in a different direction from the wrestling room. In the end, his path became clear. Since he became the head coach for the Spuds, Moorhead wrestling has had its best stretch of results in more than thirty years – in large part because the program became a reflection of its coach. It has stuck to the basics.
Toops grew up in New London and wrestled for New London-Spicer. He is from a family full of athletes and coaches, but none of them were wrestlers. Toops would be the first to pursue the sport past the early youth levels.
“My mom put me in wrestling when I was five years old because I was an overly active and aggressive kid,” Toops said. “My dad had been the head basketball coach at my school until I was born, and my brothers were basketball players, but wrestling just fit with who I was.”