Ironically Hoover, a 1958 graduate of Morrison's Cove High School in Martinsburg, played both basketball and baseball for four years in high school, but did not wrestle. The school district did not offer wrestling
until the fall of 1957, Hoover's senior year.
Following graduation, Hoover enrolled at Lock Haven University. Recalling his experience at the college level, he admits, "I will always be indebted to Head Coach Hubert Jack for allowing neophytes like me to work out with the team. Without his permission and guidance, it would have been impossible to become involved in the sport in the first place. I owe him special thanks."
Hoover's first teaching opportunity came as an instructor at Middle River Junior High in Maryland, where he served as an assistant on the wrestling staff for two years. In 1966 he began his 31-year wrestling coaching tenure at Northern Bedford where he also coached track and both junior high baseball and football.
Northern Bedford's record for the four year period (1974 - 1977) was 51-5 including three District 5 Titles, Northern's first win over Bedford in 1977, and Jan Clark's three state championships.
In addition to coaching, Rod also managed to serve as a PIAA Wrestling Official for 30 years, and a PIAA Softball Official for 10 years.
Hoover recalls, "A few of my most unforgettable, although nowhere near a complete list of wrestlers, included John Beach - my first District 5 champ, the entire teams from 1974 through 1977, and the brothers - Guyer, Weitzel, Clark, Cottle, Detwiler, Miller, Moyer, Beach, Troutman, Donaldson, and Sollenberger."
"I have to include, too, Jan Clark's amazing career, the hard working Tom Ferry, the tough luck of Jerry Moyer and the super conditioning of Brian Sell and Steve Moyer. I'm sure there are many other wrestlers deserving comment - 31 years is a long time."
"I'm indebted, too, to my wife Joyce and our entire family for their support and sacrifices. It was also a pleasure to coach in a community with an outstanding and supporting fan base, and for competent, durable assistant coaches like Harry Guyer and junior high coach, Joe Over."
Hoover's wife Joyce reflects back on the early years. "From the time I first met Rod, I knew wrestling would be a large part of our family lives, from Lock Haven to Maryland to Northern Bedford. Rod's passion became my passion and that created a solid foundation for our entire family."
After his retirement in 1998, Rod maintains his young-at-heart attitude by hunting, fishing, boating, running, and taking an occasional motorcycle ride.
Rod and his wife Joyce reside in the Martinsburg Area where he is a church deacon in the Curryville Church of the Brethren. He also enjoys spending time with his grandchildren.
Wrestling Coaching Resume:
* Head coach record at NBC, 262-160
* Won three District 5 Team Championships - 1975, 1976, & 1977
* Twice named District 5 Coach of the Year
* Won 11 Tri-County League and Six Tri-County Tournament
* Coached 39 District 5 Champs, 12 State Qualifiers & 6 All-State
* Coached three-time State Champ & one-time State Runner-Up - Jan
* Best teams: 1974, 12-2; 1975, 13-1; 1976, 13-1; 1977, 13-1
* Honored as District 5 Wrestling Man of the Year in 2005
Class of 2009
Bedford County Sports Hall of Fame
Bedford County, Pennsylvania