Was your coach a good wrestler?

BrockBronson

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May 20, 2021
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I saw some of the best wrestlers ever, fail miserably at coaching. Then been around some average wrestlers who were the most inspirational coaches. Seems like those ones are the coaches so excited to learn and keep evolving.
But the bottom line the best coaches of all time Cael, Dan Gable, etc were hands down some of the best wrestlers of all time too. I think DT is going to fit this mold some day. He is a great wrestler and might be an even better mentor/coach
 

oldcougar65

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Mar 11, 2015
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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.
 
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androcles

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Gold Member
Oct 29, 2003
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...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 !!!...
...that's a winning record of 98% , which I think is the best ever...
 
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oldcougar65

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Mar 11, 2015
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...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 !!!...
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.
 

raslen007

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Feb 19, 2012
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Can not recall if my coach was a good wrestler but he was a great teacher on/off the mat. He also had a cool last name, Coach Fleckenstein. Not positive on the spelling though.
 
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tullfan68

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Jun 20, 2021
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well he was big ten champ but a lousy person in real life real good coach but in general a real asshole he ignored me till wrestling season then he acted like we were best friends!I never did like him!
 

seamus98

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Sep 9, 2008
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I’m not sure of Marty Rusnak’s on the mat experience. He coached a few State Champions and his sons both attended the Naval Academy and wrestled. I’m sure that was one of his proudest moments. Regardless of his experience, no coach had a more profound influence on me than Mr. Rusnak. It took a few years and countless football coaches for me to recognize that but it’s a daily recollection now and I’m a much better man because of my 3 years with him.
 

LongJakk

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Sep 19, 2001
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Coach Bob Craig amassed an over-all record of 283/143/12 with 33 winning seasons in football. A 513/131/9 record with 38 winning seasons in wrestling. He was an orphan and went Lock Haven where he was a 5 sport letterman (track & field, gymnastics, swimming & diving and wrestling). In 1953 he was the PSTC 174 champ, won Outstanding Wrestler and then advanced to the 1953 NCAA quarterfinals and placed third at the 1955 Pan American Games. He turned down a contract withe the browns as a FB to accept a teaching and coaching job at Newport HS where he worked for 2 years before moving to the newly formed Cedar Cliff High School.
 

Hoosier Lion

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Jan 28, 2019
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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.
 
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CropDuster507

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Jul 13, 2015
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The club space is chock-full of "I was a tough competitor, and now I run an ELITE ACADEMY." lol shit is so corny
 

fortheglory94

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Dec 7, 2009
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I was fortunate enough to have two different HS coaches that were very accomplished. The first was a former US participant at the Maccabiah Games. The second was a multi time NJ state champion. He then went on to win 3x D3 NCAA Championships, with a 4th place finish at the D1 tournament in the mid-80s.

And in case you were wondering, none of that expertise rubbed off on me whatsoever. 😄
 

nitlion6

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Mar 26, 2012
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No, Art Steves. He coached Fort Leboeuf for 26 years.
Ok. I will go with Clearfield's Art Weiss. Art was a basketball player in HS. Got put in charge of starting Clearfield's wrestling program in 1934. By 1938 Clearfield had 3 state champs.
 
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07mantle

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Jul 27, 2014
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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..
 

98lberEating2Lunches

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Feb 11, 2018
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Yes. Steve DeAugustino, National Wrestling Hall of Fame Member.


Two time PA State Champion. First four time Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Champion.

A really nice man to a one year 98lb fill in sophomore who had never wrestled. He provided me an important life lesson that had nothing to do with wrestling.
 
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BigFella235

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Aug 13, 2021
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My stepdad doubled as my coach for most of my career. He was a fairly accomplished wrestler in his career. He won 99 matches in HS, made the state tournament his SR year in ‘86 as the NW-2. He got decked in the first round trying to hit his bread and butter: a dump. The kid from West Greene, who he was wrestling, stepped over top of him mid-motion and put him flat on his back. ‘86 also just so happened to be the last year of the one and done rule for the first round. Therefore, he never had the chance to wrestle back for a medal. Talk about bad luck. He ended up wrestling for a year at Slippery Rock before he partied his way out.

Two of my college coaches freshman year were from Brookville and competed for Lenny Ferraro. Both wound up competing in DIII throughout college (one at Lycoming, the other at Messiah). My coach sophomore year was from DuBois and he wrestled in college for Clarion. My AD happened to be the former HC for Clarion, Ken Nellis. Ken would come in and show technique every now and again. He’d also share stories of growing up watching his brothers wrestle in the Pitt and Oklahoma State rooms amongst other places, recruiting Frankie Edgar with Tom Tomeo, helping Kurt Angle prep for the Olympics, and how Wade Schalles would come in and torture the wrestlers on the mat.

All in all, I’m of the opinion that you have to know how to teach and how to reach your athletes. If they believe in you and they’re willing to go to war for you, then you’ve won a major battle. Knowing how to run a program from the youth level up through varsity and constantly growing and evolving your knowledge as a coach (technique, motivation, what buttons to push and when, how to get athletes to peak at the right times, etc) are two other huge components. If you’re able to put all of that together, you can build a competitive, if not successful, program more often than not.
 

oldcougar65

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Mar 11, 2015
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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..
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.
 
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82bordeaux

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Nov 19, 2019
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No, Art Steves. He coached Fort Leboeuf for 26 years.
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.
Fast forward 10 days to the annual Big 8 Tournament at Iroquois High School. I drop to 126 which isn't unusual for a tournament. Art and his kid were not too happy when I stepped on the scale at 126. No revenge that weekend. Or so I thought. I had won MOW the year before. I knew that nobody had won it back to back, so that was my goal. I won impressively going into the finals and had a nobody from McDowell facing me. I knew that I had it in the bag. I made sure my hair was just right. And my socks were just right. Except nobody told the other kid. He was stronger than me and just manhandled me. He gave me an old fashioned whooping.
So after the match I'm sitting against the gym wall feeling sorry for myself when up walks Art. He shows me his ballot for MOW with my name written in. Then he gave a wry smile and torn it into little pieces. I guess revenge was served cold after all.
 

CowboyUp61

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May 22, 2016
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stillwater, ok
3X national qualifier at Kansas State, in the days of repechage rather than wrestlebacks, so never placed. Believed in tough love. Started with him when I was 4, was my coach all the way through HS. Talked with him until he passed a couple of years ago on a fairly regular basis. Always asked about my boys- academics first, then sports.

So, I guess he was a good wrestler
 
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Rhino80

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Dec 31, 2016
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My HS Coach was Scotty Hughes. He told lots of stories about how bad he was early in his wrestling career. He wrestled in NJ. Obviously a great coach, recently inducted into the National Hall of fame and raised two great PSU wrestlers. He changed a lot of lives in our area, he is Benton wrestling.
 
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Fatmarc

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Feb 28, 2015
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My HS coach wasn't a great wrestler, but he loved the sport and helped a lot of kids into the sport as well. I myself wasn't such a great wrestler, but I feel like I made my mark much more as a coach. I tried to keep that spirit of my coach, (helping kids love wrestling) but also tried to button up a bit on the technique side. When our team won our first conference championship, the first person to hug me was my former coach. I'm pretty proud of that...

This thread has been a great read...
 

Random4598375

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Jan 10, 2020
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My high school coach for my first two years was pretty good for his time. He was a middle aged guy and an old school disciplinarian. Our top wrestler and the only state qualifier from the team was mouthing off to the coach about conditioning and the guy just said let's go then, and they faced off and the coach locked up with the kid and threw him to his back. It was impressive. The coach probably had 25 lbs on the kid, but it was all middle aged guy beer gut and he hadn't been training for anything at the time.

For my senior year, that guy left and was replaced by a guy who was sort of a legend in the county for wrestling in his day and whose son was actually wrestling for Penn St at the time, although he was never a regular starter and eventually transferred somewhere where he could start. He was kind of a jerk, though. The former coach was a disciplinarian, but he was also fair to everyone and never held anything back if you had a question about what he was doing. The new guy picked favorites and just flew off the handle at times. I wasn't good enough that I would have tolerated that except that it was my senior year. Half the team quit the next year and the program folded for a year until they hired a new coach.
 

KCLion

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Jun 8, 2001
9,171
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I had two HS coaches - loved my coach through my JR year. Not sure of his wrestling status ax a wrestler, but he was a great motivator and he was the guy you would want in you corner. He was replaced because a run-in with an influential parent in a small town.

As a senior I was indifferent towards my coach which may have been due to my loyalty towards the guy I knew. That said, my new coach was 17-12 at PSU, and the brother of Vincenzo’s current boss.
 

PSUcup1

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Nov 6, 2012
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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.

my HS coach was a nice guy. Not a good wrestler and not a good coach. Yet he actually had success due to the strength of a very very good youth program That was developed by my first coach …oldcougar65!!!!
 

PSU_Lion_Fan

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Oct 24, 2017
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Duncannon, PA
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.
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.
 
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