When it comes to a day off from school, most students want to stay as far away from adults as possible. But this Presidents Day, a group of Minnesota students surprised an adult who has changed their lives for the better.
Their wrestling coach, Jeff Wichern, is a Metro Transit bus driver during the day, and that’s exactly where 20 students and parents surprised him on his daily route.
“When I pulled up, my first thought was man I hope I'm not picking up a bunch of school kids,” Wichern told FOX 9. “And all of a sudden, they're all my guys.”
“He's had a big impact on all of us,” said student Jack Neal. “He just wants us to get better. And that's the thing. He just makes us tougher.”
These Eden Prairie kids hopped the 515 yesterday to surprise their coach, who is also a Metro Transit bus driver: https://t.co/ueS6US47It— Metro Transit (@MetroTransitMN) February 21, 2017
After driving his bus, Wichern spends his nights training students at JJ Trained Wrestling School for 30 hours a week-- but it’s not just about wrestling techniques.
“When we moved to Eden Prairie, my oldest was being bullied at school, had low self-esteem,” said parent Amanda Gau. “He's really changed his life. He's now a leader in school, he taught him how to build his confidence.”
Wichern also teaches them how to be a better person-- the type of person that goes out of their way on a day off from school to show their gratitude. A busload of that gratitude was present on Metro 515 as children chanted, “Jeff! Jeff” Jeff!”
“There’s times you wonder if you’re appreciated and then something like this happens, and you realize you are appreciated more than you ever thought you could be,” said Wichern. Because coaches can always use some encouragement too. Watch the video to see how much these kids care about their coach.