Coach Bryan Smith honored in National Wrestling Hall of Fame
Coach Bryan Smith honored in National Wrestling Hall of Fame

Coach Smith
Coach Bryan Smith with award

Varsity Wrestling Coach Bryan Smith was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame at an honors banquet at ASU Riches Wrestling Complex on Nov. 6.

Smith began wrestling during his freshman year at Moon Valley High School and returned to his alma mater as a science teacher and wrestling coach in 1971.

Smith has been coaching at Moon Valley for 40 years and has been named the National Wrestling Coaches Association Section 7 Coach of the Year for 2011.

Smith’s favorite thing about wrestling is the competitiveness and watching his young high school wrestlers grow into men.

“It’s fun to rough house,” Smith added.

Smith’s coaching abilities are shown on the mats in the abilities of his team and the demand for him as a coach.

Throughout Smith’s career, his teams have placed in the top ten for the past 19 years and he has coached 19 state champions.

Overall, Moon Valley wrestling has accumulated 28 regional championships in the 5A and 4A divisions as well as the 4A state title in 2010, also Smith has had 97 students place at state and his teams have won 466 dual meets.

“It’s very easy to have good teams and be a good coach when you’re at a good school,” Smith gloated.
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Assistant Coach Brian Raper wrestled for Smith as a student and has had the opportunity to see Smith in action.

“Smith is the epitome of everything that is right with public education. He is solid in the classroom and as a coach. He truly loves Moon Valley as well as his students and athletes,” Raper said.

Smith sees his entrance into the wrestling hall of fame as one of his greatest accomplishments along with being a coach at Moon Valley for such a long tenure.

“I never imagined, never dreamed, never thought that me or Moon Valley could be nationally recognized,” Smith said.

However, this is not Smith’s first national achievement; he serves on many wrestling committees nationally and locally and is a founding member of the Scholastic Division of the National Wrestling Coaches Association Board of Directors.

Smith has coached the State All Star Teams four times and has been the state wrestling tournament director.

“He’s [Smith] an old fashioned coach, not afraid to tell you how it is; he works us hard and makes champions out of us,” Senior Ryan Kulesa, varsity wrestler, said.

Smith hopes to “stay at Moon Valley doing what we always do—winning.”

-by Hayli Burdsal (Student Reporter)