- Dec 10, 2005
And he was a real gentleman. One of my greatest regrets is never having actually wrestled for him. He had my college team really going places when he had to quit....the undisputed most successful high school coach of all time - Sprig Gardner- of Mepham High School on Long Island - never wrestled.
His dual meet record over slightly more than two decades was 254-5-1 !!!...
One of my wrestler's dads was a friend of Maurey at PSU (I think a fraternity brother). Give him a chance and he'd tell Maurey's story over and over.My freshman team coach was Jerry Maurey at Bloomsburg in 1966. Jerry was an undefeated 4X state champ at Clearfield HS, wrestled for the 1953 NCAA champion Penn State University..and was a 2x 3rd place All American in college … and took 3rd place at the 1956 Olympics. He left Bloomsburg that year and I ended up transferring to Penn State but didn’t wrestle there. I learned more in that season than I had all through high school..
Art Steves was quite a character. He never wrestled before becoming the head coach at Fort LeBoeuf High School. He bought a book about wrestling and learned that way. He taught the cradle series to his kids forever. Maybe it was a move he understood and they were good at it. Either way, he was a hell of a competitor, teacher, communicator, and motivator. I had a rivalry going with one of their top guys. I was 1-3 against him and for a week before the dual I was talking smack telling everyone I was going to pin the kid. I never even turned the dude before. I was just trying to pump myself up. In the third period I turned him with a deep half and our coach Tom Canavan, immediately got up and grabbed the 138 pounder and took him into the locker room to talk to him. He was just being a prick in Art's eyes. And he was right. I got the fall, Art was pissed. We lost the match when our basketball player stand in at heavyweight couldn't survive the lion he was thrown to.No, Art Steves. He coached Fort Leboeuf for 26 years.
My high school coach actually wrestled his first year in college. The next 3 years he was the team manager. He had never wrestled in HS, so he had one year of actual wrestling. But he was just a pure coach.
One year in particular, his football team was undefeated, his wrestling team was undefeated, his tennis team (he was a lousy tennis player), was undefeated and unscored on (every match they won 5-0). His doubles team were state champs. He is in the PA wrestling Hall of Fame. My brother was the non-playing captain of that tennis team.
The coach of my college team had a heart attack before I got there and was replaced by an assistant football coach. (The guy who had the heart attack was considered the founder of wrestling in Long Island, with a coaching record of something like 250-4. I helped him with his summer wrestling camp but never actually wrestled for him. Sprig Gardner.)
So my college wrestling coach not only never wrestled, he didn't have a clue about conditioning, moves, or just about anything else one could think of. We called him The Razer cuz he was so sharp. Anything we did in college was on our own. One kid on my team was a 2x NCAA D2 champ, and 2x NCAA D1 finalist. And he did it with no help from his coach.
I remember Bob Craig well. Cedar Cliff was a big rival of ours (Susquenita). Not only was Craig a great coach, he was a master of “working the officials”. In the 80’s, our matches with CC were sellouts. Susquenita would check driver’s licenses at the door. If you didn’t have a Marysville or Duncannon address, you wouldn’t get in. Back then, it cost $1 more to attend a high school match than a college match at PSU. $4 vs $3.My HS wrestling coach was Mike Goebel (pronounced “Gable”). In 29 years, Goebel coached the Evansville, IN, Mater Dei Wildcats to an amazing 533-14-2 dual-meet record. One consecutive victory streak reached 135 matches, another 117. His incredible . 974 winning percentage is a national record. He won 11 Indiana team Championships (Single Class) even though MD had less than 500 students. His assistant coach, Randy Helfrich, also set a record of his own by coaching the JV team to a mind-boggling 450-0 record in 27 years. The streak ended the year after he retired. Both were very good HS wrestlers.