Diana Rouzee excited for future as sports marketing manager

Local4 News at 5
Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 10:58 AM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - A familiar face is in a different place in Grand Island.

Diane Rouzee, the former Northwest volleyball coaching legend who was at the helm of the Vikings for 34 years, retired in the spring. Now, just a few months later, she’s taking on a new venture.

Rouzee is now the sports marketing manager for Grand Island Tourism, and she joked that it did take a little bit of convincing to get her to come out of retirement so quickly.

”Brad (Mellema) called me and said come down and talk to me, and I said ‘Oh, I don’t know about this,’” Rouzee said. “I really didn’t want to do anything full-time, but he just gave me a great talk, and I get to work with super people, so I couldn’t say no.”

Rouzee says she also wants to get right to work.

”I just want to go and shake their hands and tell them ‘what can I do for you, and how can we work together?’ she said. “Maybe we’ve already done this or maybe we haven’t done this and establish some relationships.”

After a 38-year teaching career with 34 of them being an athletic coach, Rouzee says she can’t wait to showcase the entire city of Grand Island and not just a particular school.

”Grand Island is such a neat town,” Rouzee said. “I’ve lived here for a long time, but I think there’s so many things that they don’t know that we have, and if we can get people here, they’re going to stay in our hotels, they’re going to eat at our restaurants, they’re going to go to the Stuhr Museum, the Heartland Public Shooting Park, our fieldhouse and so many different things that a lot of places don’t.”

Rouzee’s also coming into her new role at an exciting time for Grand Island sports, as the community is in the early stages of developing and building the Pinnacle Bank Sports Complex. It will be a big domino to fall for the city according to Rouzee, and she said it’s a great symbol of how far Grand Island has come in terms of sports over the past several decades.

”I’m old, so I’ve seen a lot of changes from where we started to where we are now,” Rouzee said. “The facilities are probably the biggest things that come to mind. There was not very much when I first started, and the gym space and the field space and some of that - the club and the traveling team and programs have really developed.”