KINGSTON — Wayne Gizzi was eager to start coaching again after his son’s fourth birthday and he had a little more free time.
“About that time I was itching to get back into coaching,” Gizzi said.
When the former Klahowya Secondary School coach heard about the open head coach position with the Kingston High School wrestling program, he grabbed the opportunity.
Gizzi, who was hired in July, will take the reins of the Buccaneer program this winter. He's heard good things about the program.
“That area is very supportive of athletics,” Gizzi said. Kingston has “a lot of good athletes and sports families. I was really excited at the opportunity.”
Gizzi replaces Bobby Reece, who was put on administrative leave during the 2012-13 school year. Reece's head coaching contracts at KHS, and Kingston Middle School were not renewed. The coaching position at the middle school remains open, according to posted positions on the district website.
During his time with the Klahowya Eagles, Gizzi was an assistant coach for one year, and head coach for four years. As head coach, Gizzi helped an estimated 60 wrestlers qualify for Regional tournaments and 27 qualify for the State tournament.
Gizzi was named 2A coach of the year in 2010, according to the Central Kitsap School Board meeting minutes.
Encouraging wrestlers to give 100 percent at all times, Gizzi “preaches” that his athletes take full responsibility of the aspects of wrestling they have control over, including physical condition. He said he works with athletes to attain goals and visualize positive outcomes.
Though no particular goals have been set for the 2013-14 wrestlers, Gizzi said expectations will be high based on what he's seen.
The Kingston program has sent multiple wrestlers to Regionals and State each season. Last season, Aaron Dickson, Sonya Redbird, Bobby Reece (the former coach’s son), and Ivy Rodolf finished in the top eight. Dickson took fifth in the 170-pound tournament. Redbird won the championship in the 145-pound tournament. Reece won his third consecutive state championship in the 160-pound tournament. Rodolf took fourth in the 118-pound tournament. The winter season is still a ways off, but Gizzi is looking forward to it.
“I’m excited,” Gizzi said of being hired.