boys wrestling team head coach of 13 years Glen Kurz said he finds athletes who persevere more inspiring than those with natural ability.
Kurz, who has taught sixth-grade Language Arts at since 1999, spent two years as an assistant coach at WHS before being named head coach more than a decade ago.
Having been involved with the sport for more than 30 years, Kurz said he can't imagine a winter without it.
Westfield Patch had a chance to speak with the coach about his team, coaching style and goals for the future.
What is your proudest moment as a coach?
It's hard to single one moment out as my proudest. I was definitely proud of the 2009 season, where the team finished 16-2, reached the sectional semi-finals, and won the district tournament. That team's accomplishments were the result of their hard work and willingness to make sacrifices for the team. the state title at 152 last year is a moment I will remember for the rest of my life. Overall, I'm most proud of the kids who come in not knowing a lot about the sport, but really commiit themselves to it and end up having strong senior years.
What do you tell athletes who may be struggling, in order to inspire them?
We talk a lot about adversity and how when faced with it, you have two choices; you can fight through it and persevere, or give in and roll over. Most of our kids persevere. We also have a lot of examples of former wrestlers who have struggled, but overcame their adversity, so we'll use those wrestlers as examples for inspiration.
If you weren't coaching right now, what other profession would you most like to have and why?
Whatever profession I had would have to allow me to coach on some level. I've been involved with wrestling for 30 years and couldn't imagine a winter without it.
In what ways do your athletes inspire YOU?
My athletes inspire me when they are able to handle everything we throw at them. This is a mental sport, so the coaching staff is constantly looking for ways to "break" them mentally. I'm inspired when the kids refuse to be broken. I'm also inspired by the kids who find themselves behind in the middle of a match, but find a way to come back and win. We look for kids who refuse to lose before those with amazing natural ability.
What's your goal for this season?
The team has developed a list of 10 goals that they want to accomplish this year as a group. My number one goal is to be doing our best wrestling in late February. We always want to be peaking right around the district, region, and state tournaments. We also want our kids to outwork every other team in New Jersey.