Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Deceased UNO Wrestler Was Also A TV Analyst

Former UNO wrestler and Omaha Skutt coach R.J. Nebe is being remembered as not only an outstanding wrestler and coach, but also for his insight as a broadcaster.

Nebe, 42, died Monday of leukemia. He was a five-time All-American and a Division II national champion as a senior. He was inducted into the UNO Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996 and the NCAA Division II Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1999.

For many years, Nebe worked as a color analyst on NET's broadcasts of the Nebraska High School wrestling tournament.

Michael Carnes, who published the now-defunct Nebraska Wrestling Illustrated, said Nebe was scheduled to provide analysis for the NCAA Division II wrestling championships, but the sudden onset of the illness prevented him from working the event in Kearney.

"It was a truly tragic loss for the state's wrestling community," Carnes said.

A fundraiser planned for Nebe on Saturday will go on as scheduled, only now it will serve as a benefit for his family.

The $20 event will be at Anthony's (72nd & F Streets) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.