DYERSVILLE — As head coaches of their respective football programs, they’ve been described as CEOs. At Dyersville Beckman, Gregg Hammann really is one.
The Blazers’ head coach is a Bellevue native who played for Hayden Fry at the University of Iowa in the 1980s, where he was a teammate of his opponent Monday morning in a Class 2A state playoff semifinal at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls. Beckman (11-1) is a decided underdog against defending champion Iowa City Regina (12-0) and head coach Marv Cook.
Football has never left Hammann’s blood, despite a lengthy resume in the corporate business world. He has been an executive for Levi Strauss and Coca-Cola, as well as Chairman, CEO and President for Nautilus fitness equipment.
About five years ago, he chose to move back home to Bellevue to raise his family. Hammann is a Chief Executive Officer for Power Plate International fitness equipment company and founder and CEO of Action Advisors consulting company.
Oh, and he’s third-year head coach at Beckman.
“I love being a coach, and that’s the first thing,” said Hammann, whose son, Derek, is Beckman’s leading rusher. “It goes back to Coach Fry and some of the things he taught me. Those guys made a big difference in my life. That’s what I decided I wanted to do, too. If I can make some sort of impact on these kids, it’s all worth it.”
Hammann said much credit needs to go to his assistant coaches, who help make this unique arrangement viable. He also credited the Beckman community as a whole and his wife and family, for their understanding and assistance.
He tries to do most of his traveling for work on weekends, though he’ll occasionally have to miss a Monday practice.
“There isn’t a lot of sleep,” he said with a laugh. “I always say I’ll sleep in December.”
Only one time has Hammann questioned if he put too much on his considerable plate. He took a 5 a.m. flight from Dubuque to Cincinnati the morning after a Beckman game and after getting only two hours of sleep.
His return flight home the following day was delayed, then took five hours because of poor weather conditions. Hammann said his airplane had to stop before it got to Dubuque in order to refuel.
“As I was sitting on that flight, there was one point where I thought to myself ‘What did I get myself into?’” he said.
It’s days like Monday, however, that always answer that question.