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Wrestling Leaves Lasting Impact on Coach

Head+Wrestling+Coach+Bob+Sullivan+prepares+wrestlers+for+their+next+matches.++Sullivan+has+been+the+head+coach+since+the+2015+season.
Head Wrestling Coach Bob Sullivan prepares wrestlers for their next matches.  Sullivan has been the head coach since the 2015 season.

Head Wrestling Coach Bob Sullivan prepares wrestlers for their next matches. Sullivan has been the head coach since the 2015 season.

Jimmy Crotty

Jimmy Crotty

Head Wrestling Coach Bob Sullivan prepares wrestlers for their next matches. Sullivan has been the head coach since the 2015 season.

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He fought the building pressure from the crowd above after a tough loss in the semi-finals. For a moment, his mind was scattered across the arena floor, though quickly he drew upon self-confidence and pinned down any inward anxiety. His body ached from the countless matches before, yet he gave his opponent everything he had. His victory was swift and precise, each move carefully calculated. A young Bob Sullivan mastered his opponent by mastering his mind.

“A lot of wrestling is physical demand. It’s a very physical sport and being able to wrestle five matches in a day is extremely tough, but more than that, you have to have the discipline to go through that day-to-day, at every practice,” Head Wrestling Coach Sullivan said.

Wrestling taught Sullivan to focus on improving his own performance.

“It teaches you a lot of things that other sports don’t…It’s an individual sport with the team aspect. You have to rely on yourself and not on other people,” he said.

While Sullivan heavily relied on himself, he credits his high school coaches Shane Thill and Andy Tate with pushing him to grow and reach his full potential.

“They held us to high expectations, and they were able to motivate us to accomplish those expectations,” Sullivan said.

Now, as a coach, he dedicates himself to his own athletes.

“In the morning he drives out early to have us run. He spends his spare time washing the team’s uniforms, getting ready for practice, and trying to make himself a better coach,” Patrick Fayad ‘19 said.

Coaching for Sullivan comes naturally. It’s his way of returning the gifts he received as a wrestler.

“I’ve just always wanted to be in sports, or be involved in sports one way or another. So, it just seemed like coaching was a good fit. I’ve had some good coaches when I was growing up who taught me a lot, so I want to repay the favor,” he said.

Sullivan often draws on strategies used in his high school program.

“Some of the things I use now in our wrestling program are things that my high school program did, things like doing morning runs, morning workouts, getting more athletes out for wrestling. Even some of the techniques we use are ones we used a lot in my high school program,” Sullivan said.

During practice, Fayad said Sullivan focuses on strengthening athletes’ “grit and persistence”. Trevon Detwiler ‘19 appreciates that coach Sullivan is looking at the bigger picture as well.

“He drills us hard. He focuses on what we need to improve on in our matches, and he makes sure we’re getting things right before the match. He also keeps in mind when we’re wrestling next and how hard we’re pushing our bodies,” Detwiler said.

Though Sullivan pushes his athletes hard, his attitude remains positive.

“He always believes in us and that we can get better. He pushes us because he knows that we can be better. When we have tough practices he tells us, ‘This isn’t a punishment. This is to make you better,’” Fayad ‘19 said.

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