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Wrath Retiring from Augustana College

Dave Wrath in the Dave Wrath Press Box at the Augustana stadium
Augustana College
Dave Wrath in the Dave Wrath Press Box at the Augustana stadium

Forty years of serving his alma mater will end this week for Dave Wrath.

The Associate Director of Athletics, Media, and Alumni Relations at Augustana College is retiring.

Wrath graduated from Augustana in 1980, and first worked for a newspaper in his hometown of Plainfield, Illinois, then moved to Fulton, Kentucky to be sports editor of a small daily paper. But just nine months after graduation, Augustana offered him the job of sports information director, and he stayed.

Augustana College

Wrath says one of the biggest changes is the number of sports - 15 when he arrived on campus, but 28 now.

"The number one change in our world has been the advent of the internet and all the electronic stuff that goes with that. It brought a lot of proofreaders into our world that we may or may not enjoy having because now you print something, and you post it, and everybody sees it. In the past you printed it and sent it to a newspaper and hoped they ran a story or two from what you posted. But now you control your own message which also means you control your own mistakes and people are more than happy to point those out to you. That's been the number one change, the instant news cycle, that you have to have things up immediately so that's brought a different pressure into this job."

And that means covering every sport the college offers, and right away. He's had an assistant in recent years, who also recently retired, and many students have also put in time covering the many games and matches, and publishing the results.

"The one thing that the pandemic really taught me is in the fall when we didn't have any sports there was this wonderful thing that I learned about and that was called a weekend. I've never really had weekends before. So that was fun, and I thought, you know that maybe, this might be something, I might be on to something here. And I sort of enjoyed going home every day at 4:30 which I've never done that, I never worked a 40-hour work week and so I realized that maybe there's a little bit more out there."

Wrath also thought 40 years would be an appropriate time to retire.

"Forty years I think is enough, I think that's nice number, I think it's time. I think I've had a great run here and there's still some mileage left on the tires I believe, and I wanted to go out on my terms - that was very important to me. My wife's been retired as a school teacher in the state of Illinois for seven years I believe. And we have a granddaughter who lives in Kansas City and my mother is still alive in Plainfield, Illinois, so it was the right time. This was a tough year with the pandemic, this was hard there was nothing easy about this year and so we got through it, we're leaving the department in good shape."

Taking Wrath's place will be Trevor Jossart, who most recently worked as sports information director for Southwestern College in Kansas.

Wrath plans to ride his bike, and visit their cabin in northern Wisconsin more often, but still be involved with sports. He's already started doing some part-time work for the Quad Cities River Bandits.

"Every day I woke up and I never felt like I had to go to work. I always felt like it was a blessing and it was a privilege. I worked for great people and I worked for a great institution and was able to do the stuff that I love. Sometimes people work their entire life and they never get a job that they like, and I found one that I loved when I was 22 years old. That's important and that's what kept me going and I can't thank the people here at Augustana enough. I don't want to mention any names because I'm going to forget somebody and that's not fair. But boy there's been a lot of people that have helped me out and I certainly appreciate it."

His last day at Augustana will be June 25th.

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.