Longtime GHS wrestling coach Wagner resigns
Published: Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 7:27 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 7:27 p.m.
Ryland Wagner, a former standout wrestler at Gainesville High and the Hurricanes’ head coach for the past 10 years, resigned recently.
Wagner led the ’Canes to seven city championships and four regional and district titles. A four-year starter at GHS, he became an assistant coach after he graduated in 1997 for six years, then took over as head coach in 2003.
“I have been involved in coaching for 16 years, and I just got a job opportunity in which I can’t give the time I have in the past to be competitive,” said Wagner, who recently became the general manager of Shuck restaurant, an oyster bar located on Northwest 1st Avenue, behind The Swamp Restaurant. “I will still help out. We still have our wrestling program at the Boys and Girls Club. It has been hectic getting the restaurant up, but I can’t really ever leave GHS. It has meant a lot to me and always will.”
In 2011, Wagner was one of six community leaders recognized by The Gainesville Sun with a Spirit of Gainesville award.
“There are some big shoes to fill, no doubt about it,” said GHS athletic director Cindy Boulware. “Ryland was part of a wrestling dynasty as a wrestler and continued that on as a coach. He has been a great role model for the boys. We want to continue what he has established.
“We are proud of the job that Ryland has done for us and wish him the best.”
Wagner said he still plans to help out at GHS, but can’t handle the duties of a head coach.
“I have always put wrestling in front of myself and my family, and I needed to change that,” said Wagner, whose career record as a coach was 204-67-1, with his best season (record-wise) coming in 2005 (32-2). “I will help out on a voluntary basis.”
As head coach, the ’Canes had six top-10 finishes at state, highlighted by a runner-up finish at state in Class 2A in 2006. He has also coached four state champions and 23 wrestlers that placed at state.
“Our summer wrestling program really elevated us as a program,” Wagner said. “That really separated us from the other programs in the city.”
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