Sports

South Kitsap taps co-coaches to take over wrestling reins

Dave Dyess and Chad Nass are two of a kind.

They both won state titles in wrestling at the same weight class for South Kitsap. Both returned to the school as assistant coaches and have since become best friends.

And now they’re both in charge of the Wolves’ wrestling program.

South Kitsap Athletic Director Steve Reischman announced on Friday that Dyess and Nass would be co-head coaches, replacing the retired Ron Hudiburg.

“I’m very comfortable with the decision and feel that the wrestling program is in good hands,” Reischman said. “Dave and Chad bring a wealth of experience and energy to the program. Look for the Wolves to continue their success in the future.”

Reischman conducted interviews for the vacancy last Friday, interviewing just three candidates before settling on Dyess and Nass as co-coaches. The pair take over a program that finished 10th in state last season and has a 114-match consecutive Narrows League winning streak that dates back to 1992.

Both must be approved by the school board, and an assistant coach will be hired at a later date.

“I like it. I think it’s pretty cool that both of them get to share the experience and do it together,” said Kyle Coppinger, a junior who participated in the state tournament. “It’s good for the team too, since they were both assistants and both are moving up.

“I’m glad it went to them instead of someone we weren’t familiar with,” Coppinger said. “It keeps the South Kitsap tradition going on.”

Dyess won his state title in 1979 in the 141-pound weight class and began his coaching career in 1989.

“I’m South Kitsap through and through,” Dyess said. “This is where I’ve always wanted to be.”

Nass claimed his 141-pound title in 1992 and began his coaching career in 1996 at South.

“We both wanted to be a head coach,” Nass said. “This was really the only way we could both satisfy what we wanted to do. And Dave and I have a great personal relationship and this co-head coaching is something everyone can do.”

The two will be equal in every way, but Dyess said they will break up duties as they see fit as the year moves along.

“For the last two years, we talked about co-coaching,” Dyess said. “After the season was over, Chad and I went to Reischman and said we’d like to co-coach. And we had a lengthy meeting on why.”

Reischman told the pair that was something he would like to stay away from. But in the end, he decided it was the best thing for the program, the school and everyone involved, Dyess said.

“I think what I bring in is the past, back from the Larry McGuire years,” Dyess said. “There’s a history from that, and now it’s time for Chad and I to carve out our own history. It’s going to be fun and exciting and we’re looking forward to it.”

“I think that something unique we have is that Dave and I are really different people,” Nass said. “His style and comfort level is different than my style and comfort level. That will only enhance our ability to make connections and coach different kids because everyone connects differently with different people.”

The two inherit a state wrestling power in fine shape for the future.

Among the returning lettermen are Brent Chriswell, who placed second at state as a sophomore last season, Brandon Kelly, who was eighth and Coppinger.

“The program doesn’t need to be rebuilt,” Nass said. “It’s already built. It just needs to be run and maintained. We’ve got pretty big shoes to fill, but we’re looking forward to it.”

Part of the history that Dyess and Nass are hoping to carve out would be moving the emphasis from winning league titles to winning state titles, something South has never done.

That means working on the depth of the team, Dyess said, getting more kids involved and more kids participating in more meets.

For now, the two will be finalizing the 2004-2005 schedule, setting up camps and getting uniforms and paperwork taken care of.

“There’s a lot to do, really,” Dyess said. “And we’ve already started doing it.”

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