MSU Mourns Passing of Rummy Macias

MANKATO, Minn. – The Minnesota State Athletics community mourns the passing of Rometo “Rummy” Macias, who passed away this week at the age of 101. Macias was responsible for starting the Minnesota State wrestling program in 1950. He then coached the Mavericks for the next 38 years. A native of Davenport, Iowa, Macias guided MSU to NAIA national titles in 1958 and 1959 and an NCAA college division crown in 1965.

While coaching at Minnesota State University, Macias coached 19 individual national champions and 92 All-Americans. In addition to his two NAIA championship teams and one NCAA college championship team, other teams under his guidance placed 7-8-9-10-11 in Division I championships.

MSU Athletics named their new wrestling facility at the Taylor Sports Center at Minnesota State University the “Rummy Macias Wrestling Complex” on October 13, 2001. Rummy coached 145 wrestlers who went on to become head coaches in Minnesota High Schools.

Macias graduated from the University of Iowa in 1948 and was inducted into the MSU Hall of Fame in 1982. He served as president of the NAIA, NCAA, College Division, and the National Wrestling Coaches Association and authored two books on wrestling.

He is a member of 11 Hall of Fames and hosted seven Minnesota State High School Wrestling Championship Tournaments.

“There would be no argument that if there was a Mount Rushmore for Maverick Athletics that Rummy Macias would be on it,” said former Minnesota State Associate Athletic Director for Communications and Athletics Hall of Fame inductee Paul Allan. “In a career that overlapped with the coaching arcs of C.P Blakeslee, Bob Otto, Bud Myers, Dean Bowyer, Don Brose and Lori Meyer, Rummy was a program-builder, a charismatic leader and a character. It always amazed me that oftentimes when traveling with our teams, after meeting someone new, inevitably they would say…You’re from Mankato? You must know Rummy Macias. He was unforgettable and his impact on Minnesota State Athletics is timeless. Even at his age, it’s hard to believe he’s no longer with us.”

“It was sad for me to hear the news that Rummy had passed away,” said current Minnesota State wrestling head coach Jim Makovsky. “Rummy was a legend in so many different walks of life and he had a profound impact on thousands of lives, including mine. I learned a lot about coaching from him and he was a walking encyclopedia of Maverick wrestling. Anytime he stopped by the office, I knew we would enjoy an hour or two of stories and teachings. I loved every minute and it will be what I miss the most about him. Rummy was so passionate about teaching. He genuinely loved people and he connected those two things together to become a master communicator. My heart goes out to his family, friends, former wrestlers and former students.”

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