BELGRADE, Minn. - A well-liked teacher and wrestling coach at a central Minnesota high school is dead after being hit by a semi truck while riding his bike early Tuesday.
The State Patrol website says 38-year-old Richard Vos was riding his bike near the intersection of State Highway 71 and Kandiyohi County Road 34 just before 5 a.m. when he was struck by the semi.
Vos was a math teacher, wrestling and track coach at Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa (BBE) High School. The ninth of 12 kids, Vos grew up in the Green Isle-Arlington area, and wrestled for Sibley East and the University of Minnesota Duluth.
He was also a husband, and a dedicated father to two children, ages 7 and 4.
An enthusiastic coach at BBE, Vos took three wrestlers to the state tournament last year, but those who knew him say he was as dedicated to promoting and building sportsmanship with his athletes as he was to winning.
Vos's siblings say he had lost 40 pounds since the spring, and was just starting a 20-mile loop he regularly took on his bicyle this morning when he was struck. They say Richard always wore a reflective vest while riding.
On Tuesday morning a message was posted on the Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa athletics blogspot. It reads:
For the past half hour, I've been staring at my computer, watching the Sauk Centre Herald Facebook news feed, getting nothing accomplished. As is the rest of the Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa community is doing right now, I am reeling. We have suffered an unimaginable loss.
Long-time head wrestling coach, junior high track and field coach and high school math teacher Rich Vos was killed in a bicycle-semi accident at approximately 5:00 a.m. today this morning south of Belgrade.
Vos, an incredibly good-natured, friendly and hard-working teacher, coach and father, began teaching at B-B-E in 1998. He was an assistant varsity wrestling coach until 2001, when he took over the Varsity Wrestling program from former head coach Chuck Marks, who was head coach for B-B-E from 1989 to 2001.
Vos was very passionate about the B-B-E wrestling program. He worked tirelessly to build up the Youth Wrestling program and get parents involved as volunteers in the system. He was also instrumental in leading the school to converting unused classroom space into a badly-needed Wrestling Practice facility.
Vos's passing leaves a huge hole to fill in both the teaching and coaching staffs of Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa. That pales in comparison to the loss his family is dealing with right now.
May the Angels watch over his family.
All extra-curricular activities have been cancelled at the high school for Tuesday.
(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. )