Wrestling coaches tough to pin down

Sidelines

September 29, 1999|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

There will be at least nine new head wrestling coaches this winter. Included in the mass exodus is The Sun's County Coach of the Year, Broadneck's Fred Yelton, who took the Bruins from 3-11 to 11-3 last season, but has relocated to Pennsylvania.

And there could be a 10th new coach in a sport that appears to have a shortage of coaching candidates.

"We don't have wrestling coaches bursting through the doors to coach like we do in other sports, and, to the best of my knowledge, Bill Goulart will be back as our coach," said St. Mary's athletic director Fred Kramer.

"He [Goulart] hasn't returned my phone calls for two weeks, and I hope he's coming back."

Jay Braunstein became the third to fill a vacant position but leaves a vacancy behind. After making significant strides with Glen Burnie, which had been down for years, Braunstein has moved to Archbishop Spalding.

It was announced Monday that John Miller will succeed Buddy Hepfer at Arundel. Jim Grimm previously was named as coach at North County to replace Larry Radford. Hepfer and Radford both retired.

Broadneck and Severna Park are likely to elevate assistant coaches Bob Halcombe and Paul Joyce, respectively, while Annapolis, Glen Burnie, Meade and Southern are still looking.

"Bob is definitely a candidate, but may have a few conflicts with evening classes he's taking," said Broadneck athletic director Ken Kazmarek. "We're sweating it a little bit because before you know it, wrestling season will be here."

Ralph Toomey left Severna Park after six seasons and Joyce, his top assistant, appears to be the No. 1 candidate. Joyce is a physical education teacher in the school and an assistant on the football staff.

"Frank recommended Jay [Braunstein] to us and we snagged him," said Spalding athletic director Lee Dove, referring to Frank Buckland, a former county Coach of the Year who had coached the Cavaliers for three seasons before stepping down because of his work schedule as an electrician.

Braunstein, who was a top candidate for the Spalding job that Buckland eventually landed, later withdrew his application to stay at Old Mill in hopes of succeeding Mike Hampe.

Hampe retired after 23 seasons and a record six state tournament titles at the Millersville school with Braunstein as his top assistant for nine seasons.

Most thought Braunstein, who also coached at Clarion (Pa.) University and his alma mater Mount St. Joseph, leading the Gaels to a national prep championship, would be the heir apparent. Instead, the job went to five-year Hampe assistant Vern Hines.

"We were very interested in Jay back then, but he opted to stay at Old Mill and then took the Glen Burnie job last year," said Dove.

"Jay did a terrific job for us and we have a nice group of kids returning," said Glen Burnie athletic director Dave Rigot. "I feel for them because it's frustrating.

"I was at a district meeting the other night and I asked around if they had anybody who would be interested in coaching, but they said they were keeping who they have. There don't seem to be a lot of candidates out there."

Annapolis, Meade and Southern are also looking for coaches with Dave Gehrdes, Charles Slider and Shawn Miller stepping down, respectively. Gehrdes succeeded Fred Stauffer as the Panthers' athletic director and gave up coaching the boys soccer and wrestling teams.

Meade athletic director Sam Pandullo is also accepting applications, but not receiving many.

The majority of the 12 county public schools may have to hire "emergency coaches" -- that is, coaches who are not faculty members -- to fill the vacancies.

Football championship?

Anne Arundel athletic directors are expected to finalize a plan to determine a county champion in football that would use the playoff points format (eight points for a win over a 4A school, seven for a 3A, and six for 2A with a bonus point for each game won by a defeated foe in county games only).

"We expect to have it done at the next A.D.'s meeting [October]," said county coordinator Marlene Kelly.

With Annapolis dropping to 3A this year and Broadneck and Northeast moving up to 4A and 3A, respectively, that left eight 4As, three 3As and only one 2A (Southern). A restructuring of the football schedule was deemed necessary, but it has created havoc since common schedules are not popular.

Seven teams -- Annapolis, Arundel, Broadneck, Chesapeake, Glen Burnie, North County and South River -- are playing their 10-game schedules against all county foes. Meade (nine county games), Northeast (five), Old Mill (nine), Severna Park (eight) and Southern (six) are playing some teams outside the county.

Have an idea or note for Sidelines? Call Pat O'Malley's 24-hour Sportsline at 410-647-2499.

Help wanted on the mat

Coaching changes in Anne Arundel County wrestling:

School Coach Change 1999-2000 coach

Annapolis Dave Gehrdes took A.D. job vacancy

Arch. Spalding Frank Buckland resigned Jay Braunstein

Arundel Buddy Hepfer retired John Miller

Broadneck Fred Yelton resigned vacancy

Glen Burnie Jay Braunstein to Spalding vacancy

Meade Charles Slider resigned vacancy

North County Larry Radford retired Jim Grimm

Severna Park Ralph Toomey resigned vacancy

Southern Shawn Miller resigned vacancy

Pub Date: 9/29/99

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