The North Bend Eagle


Assistant wrestling coach dies in car accident

by Nathan Arneal
Published 4/3/13

Tanner Merz, a Midland University student who served as an assistant wrestling coach at North Bend Central for the past three seasons, died in a car wreck in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Tanner MerzMerz

His 2003 Ford Taurus was found upside down in a ditch near Irwin, Iowa, by a Shelby County Deputy Sheriff at approximately 2:45 a.m. Saturday. Merz, 21, was the lone occupant. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the Shelby County Medical Examiner’s office.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s office determined Merz lost control of the vehicle before it entered the ditch and flipped onto its top.

Merz was a native of Falls City, graduating from Falls City High School in 2010.

“The North Bend Central wrestling family lost a great friend and mentor this past weekend,” NBC head wrestling coach Ken Streff said in a statement to the Eagle. “Coach Tanner Merz had a great passion for the sport of wrestling, and when he took that passion and combined it with his personality and knowledge of the sport it was easy for everyone on our team to see that he had a bright future as a coach.

“Our wrestlers also saw coach Merz as a great friend who, in the corner of the mat at a meet, would celebrate the wins more than he would ever complain about the losses. Our wrestlers, parents, and fans loved seeing that side of him and, personally, it’s really difficult to imagine that throughout this off-season and come next November he is not going to be there helping coach our teams. The thoughts and prayers of the North Bend Central wrestling family go out to all his family and friends in both Falls City and at Midland University.”

The funeral will be this Friday, April 5, at 11 a.m. at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Falls City.

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