Barry McNamara  |  Published December 11, 2023

From Green Machine to Green Machines

Monmouth College provided the bridge for the five Reschke brothers between Geneseo High School and working for John Deere Co.

NOTHING RUNS LIKE A DEERE: Except the Reschke brothers, of course. Pictured from left are Ethan '17, Jordan '17, Lu... NOTHING RUNS LIKE A DEERE: Except the Reschke brothers, of course. Pictured from left are Ethan '17, Jordan '17, Luke '09, Shane '12 and Josh '07. All photography by Kent Kriegshauser.MONMOUTH, Ill. – Thankfully, when it came to their higher education experience, Monmouth College’s Reschke brothers took a break from green and yellow.

But it almost didn’t happen that way.

Josh Reschke ’07, Luke Reschke ’09, Shane Reschke ’12 and twins Ethan Reschke ’17 and Jordan Reschke ’17 all proudly wore the Kelly green of Geneseo (Illinois) High School. For Maple Leaf football games, the Green Machine add a healthy dash of yellow. They can easily be mistaken for the Green Bay Packers, right down to the “G” on their cheesehead-colored helmets.

Green and yellow are also the colors of John Deere Co., which is headquartered in Moline, a few miles west of Geneseo. All five Reschke brothers work for the giant international corporation, which manufactures agricultural machinery and other heavy equipment.

Josh is a global supply business manager for tires and wheels, Luke is a manufacturing engineer, and Shane is a supply management specialist. Ethan and Jordan are both material coordinators.

Sandwiched in between Geneseo High and John Deere was their college experience as Fighting Scots, but who knows what would’ve happened if the oldest brother, Josh, had gone with his other college choice.


The trailblazer

“It was a last-minute decision to attend Monmouth,” said Josh, who returned to campus in October for Luke’s induction into the M Club Hall of Fame. “I was trying to play basketball, and I was being recruited by St. Norbert (College).”

Located in De Pere, Wisconsin (roughly five hours from Geneseo), and, at the time, members of Monmouth’s Midwest Conference, St. Norbert’s Green Knight athletes wear green and gold.

“At the end of July, I came to campus to meet ‘TG’ (legendary Monmouth men’s basketball coach Terry Glasgow),” said Josh. “I just fell in love with the place.”

And he also came to a crucial realization.

“Why would I play basketball where my family couldn’t come and watch me?”

Soon, red-and-white Scots apparel could be found next to the green in the Reschkes’ wardrobes.

Josh made his remarks in the Huff Athletic Center fieldhouse, moments after the induction ceremony. On his official visit to campus, the Huff Center was still a work in progress.

“Staying close to home was an important part of it. We’re pretty close to our parents.” – Josh Reschke


“This part was just dirt,” he said. “We had to wear hardhats to walk around. You had to visualize what it would look like.”

The College felt right and had a bright future, and the geography was good, too, as Geneseo is just 45 minutes from Monmouth. That was not only good news for Josh, but for his parents, Allan and Kathy, who, respectively, ran a plastering business and the local Culver’s restaurant. They could squeeze in a drive to campus to see Josh while also being present for the many activities his younger brothers were doing on the home front.

“Staying close to home was an important part of it,” said Josh. “We’re pretty close to our parents.”

FAMILY GATHERING: Allan and Kathy Reschke are pictured at a Sunday dinner at their home outside of Geneseo, Illinois. FAMILY GATHERING: Allan and Kathy Reschke are pictured at a Sunday dinner at their home outside of Geneseo, Illinois.And that remains the case today. Kathy said her family’s weekly Sunday dinners typically have a crowd of at least 20 people.

“My dad comes, too,” she said. “We’re very fortunate that they’re all close by.”

Sixteen years after running his last race for Monmouth, Josh remains one of the top eight fastest Fighting Scots in the 400-meter dash. But at the Reschke dinner table, he only ranks third.


The Hall of Famer

The Huff fieldhouse would soon be home for the next Reschke brother, Luke. One can only imagine how many times the sprinter ran a lap around its 200-meter track during his illustrious career.

“I visited a few times to watch Josh play basketball,” said Luke. “I was really comfortable coming here. I talked with Coach (Roger) Haynes and with Coach (Steve) Bell.”

Luke would eventually play football for Bell, but not until his senior year. He also played some basketball for Glasgow, but it was in track and field, running for Haynes, where he made a name for himself, earning nine All-American honors and helping the Scots to a pair of top-three team finishes at the NCAA meet.

A HAPPY HOMECOMING: Pictured at this year's M Club Hall of Fame ceremony, where Luke Reschke '09 was inducted, are,... A HAPPY HOMECOMING: Pictured at this year's M Club Hall of Fame ceremony, where Luke Reschke '09 was inducted, are, from left, Jordan '17, Josh '07, Luke, Shane '12 and Ethan '17.The first came at the 2007 outdoor meet, where Luke teamed with Josh to place second in the 4x400 relay, lifting Monmouth to a third-place team trophy. Earlier that year at the NCAA indoor meet, the brothers teamed for a fifth-place All-American finish.

At that year’s MWC outdoor meet, Josh and Luke were half of the winning 4x400 squad that set a conference record of 3:15.47. That time is still the record today, 16 years later. Luke’s ultra-fast meet record time of 46.75 in the 400, set three years later, was finally bested in 2023, although it remains the school record.

Haynes recalled Luke’s mindset the day before he ran that historic time: “I was standing with some other coaches, and Luke walked by me. I asked him if he was going to take it easy and rest up for tomorrow. He just said, ‘No,’ and kept walking. The other coaches kind of looked at me. But there was a national-caliber sprinter from Illinois College, and Luke didn’t want him to get a leg up.”

That type of competitive fire even burned in Allan, long after his days as a talented athlete at Geneseo High School.

“I remember going up to the Quad Cities to watch Josh and Luke run the uphill 400 they have up Brady Street before the Bix,” said Haynes. “It’s an extremely difficult race, and they wound up getting second and third behind an All-American from Northern Iowa. I was talking to Al, and he said, ‘This is so much fun. I have trouble sleeping the night before big meets like this.’”

Kathy provided a reason Luke didn’t immediately make his way to the gridiron at Monmouth. A four-time state champion in the 1970s and ’80s, Geneseo was in the midst of a 15-year state playoff streak during Luke’s prep career. That included a run to the Class 5A state semifinal his senior year.

“I remember he said, ‘Mom, it’ll just never be better than playing for the Green Machine,’” she said.

“It was better than anything I could’ve ever dreamed. I’ve got great memories of it all. I had the kind of coaches that I would want my kids to play for, and the friends I met here I’m still friends with.” – Luke Reschke


Helping to change his mind as a senior was the fact that some of the Green Machine followed him to campus. Luke joined Adam Hoste ’12, Kevin Turner ’12 and B.J. Weber ’11 on that year’s roster and was a standout defensive back, making 15 tackles in the Scots’ NCAA playoff game against the University of St. Thomas.

MONMOUTH MARRIAGES: From left, Ethan, Luke and Josh are pictured with their spouses, Joanna Podosek '18, Shannon Turczy... MONMOUTH MARRIAGES: From left, Ethan, Luke and Josh are pictured with their spouses, Joanna Podosek '18, Shannon Turczyn '09 and Jenna Bean '12.And every day in practice, he went up against future NFL quarterback Alex Tanney ’11 and talented receiver Michael Blodgett ’11, who joined him in the Hall of Fame’s 2023 induction class.

“It was better than anything I could’ve ever dreamed,” said Luke. “I’ve got great memories of it all. I had the kind of coaches that I would want my kids to play for, and the friends I met here I’m still friends with.”

In addition to regularly seeing his parents in the stands, Luke recalled that several faculty members – particularly business professors Ken McMillan, Mike Connell and Dick Johnston – also attended his Fighting Scot events.

For a while, Luke considered pursuing professional sports, but not in track or football. Rather, with his flair for competition and speed, he flirted with the idea of becoming a NASCAR pit crew member. But, as his wife, All-American hurdler Shannon Turczyn Reschke ’09, said during her introduction of Luke at the Hall of Fame ceremony, he’s worked at Deere since two days following his last NCAA meet.


Shane’s story

Part of the group that made its way from Geneseo to Monmouth in the late 2000s was the middle Reschke brother, Shane, who was also a big part of the Scots’ success in track.

Shane, too, appreciated the support he received from his parents at all his competitions growing up and in college.

“They never missed a football game,” he said. “And they’d drive eight hours to a track meet to watch me race for a couple of minutes.”

Or, in one case, to almost watch him run.

“They were two minutes late to the 4x1 in Ohio,” said Shane of the 2011 NCAA meet. “They missed the whole thing.”

“They would work all day, and then get in the car and drive to wherever they needed to go,” recalled Haynes.

“I walked by Shane and I saw him warming up, and I said, ‘What are you doing?’ He said, ‘I’m not going to have us lose the final race of my career.’ So after not running that distance since February, he went out and ran a 49.5 split, and we won the race.” – Roger Haynes


In addition to that national meet appearance, Shane was part of four relay squads that were provisional NCAA qualifiers. He was on four relay teams that won Midwest Conference titles, and the Scots were a perfect 8-for-8 in MWC championships while he was on the team, a statement that Luke can also make.

Haynes recalled the final race of Shane’s career, at the 2012 MWC outdoor meet.

“We were up at St. Norbert, and we’d pretty much won the meet by then,” he said of the 4x400, a squad that Shane had not been a part of during the outdoor season. “We had a couple kids sit out of the race. I walked by Shane and I saw him warming up, and I said, ‘What are you doing?’ He said, ‘I’m not going to have us lose the final race of my career.’ So after not running that distance since February, he went out and ran a 49.5 split, and we won the race.”


The twins

For one season, in 2013, there were no Reschke boys on the track team, but order was restored when Ethan and Jordan matriculated in the fall of 2013. Ethan went on to be an eight-time All-American, placing as high as second in the nation in the 400. Included among his 15 MWC titles was a 4x400 squad that equaled the mark Josh and Luke set.

“Some of my fondest memories are from Monmouth,” said Ethan. “I remember coming here when I was just a kid. And then as a student, the liberal arts experience offered more than I ever thought possible, and that’s something I definitely take into the workplace.”

“As a student, the liberal arts experience offered more than I ever thought possible, and that’s something I definitely take into the workplace.” – Ethan Reschke


Ethan recalled watching his two oldest brothers compete at the 2007 MWC meet, when the Scots scored a whopping 307.5 points to easily defend their title.

“I remember how dominant they were at the conference meet at Ripon,” he said. “In every event, it seemed, they finished first, second and third. That was a meet that stood out to me.”

His twin reiterated how important his parents have been in his and his brothers’ lives.

“It’s just the memories and the friendships, like they’ve said, and everything you get taught here. It was definitely a positive experience for me.” – Jordan Reschke


“You could always count on them if you needed anything,” said Jordan. “They always had something positive to say. At meets, I could always hear my dad’s whistle.”

Like his brothers, Jordan’s time at Monmouth was special to him.

“It’s just the memories and the friendships, like they’ve said, and everything you get taught here. It was definitely a positive experience for me.”


Family focus and work ethic

“We loved that they were close by, and they could come home on weekends when they wanted to,” said Kathy. “We could even meet them in the middle, in Galesburg. I remember doing that one day when Luke called and said he needed some dress clothes.”

“I still stay in touch with them a fair amount,” said Haynes, a huge Rolling Stones fan who was listening in his office to the group’s new Hackney Diamonds album, which was released that day. “And this is appropriate for today, but Josh has become a big Rolling Stones fan, too. He called me one night to tell me he’d been at one of their Soldier Field shows and that he’d knocked over about 40 people to get a drumstick that Charlie Watts tossed to the crowd. I’m sure it’s in his man cave now.”

On another occasion, the three older brothers – all avid outdoorsmen – returned to campus to hear world-renowned hunter Tim Wells ’87 present the Wendell Whiteman Memorial Lecture.

Haynes called the brothers “five different kids,” but he noted two important similarities.

“Their mom and dad undoubtedly did a great job of parenting. All the boys have young families now, but their mom and dad set the standard.” – Roger Haynes


“They all have some very strong characteristics – a family focus and a tremendous work ethic,” he said. “Their mom and dad undoubtedly did a great job of parenting. All the boys have young families now, but their mom and dad set the standard.”

In addition to Luke, two other brothers are married to Monmouth alumnae – Josh’s wife is the former Jenna Bean ’12 and Ethan married the track team’s 800-meter record holder, Joanna Podosek ’18.

Kathy is grateful for the role Monmouth College played in keeping the bar high for her sons.

“Allan and I never dreamed all five boys would wind up at the same place. They’ve grown off of each other’s successes. Monmouth College met each of their needs individually – academically, athletically.” – Kathy Reschke


“I’d talk to other parents about what was happening with their kids who went to college,” said Kathy. “As a parent, you just want it to go so well for them. After a month or so, I’d talk to each of the boys, and they seemed happy. And then you just go” – and with that, she made a fist pump.

Eventually, she was 5-for-5 on fist pumps.

“Allan and I never dreamed all five boys would wind up at the same place,” she said. “They’ve grown off of each other’s successes. Monmouth College met each of their needs individually – academically, athletically.”

Socially, too.

“With all my boys, these are their friends for life,” she said. “We walked in today (for the ceremony) and saw the boys all talking to their friends. I said to Allan, ‘It feels like home.’”

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