2008 OVAC MR. MAT
Coach Jim Potts, Cameron High School
Coach Potts graduated from Buckhannon-Upshur High School, where he was a member of the 1963 West Virginia State Championship football team. He then attended Glenville State College, and graduated with a BA degree in 1967.
Potts began coaching wrestling at Cameron High School in 1974, and the rest is history. Potts' teams over his 31-year coaching tenure garnered at dual meet record of 363-94-4. His "Dragon" squads won four consecutive West Virginia A-AA State Wrestling Championships (1991-1994). He also had three state runner-up teams, and a trio of 3rd place finishes at states.
Coach Potts coached a total of 34 individual state champions, which ranks him as one of the top 10 coaches in West Virginia for most state champs. One of his proudest moments was witnessing his son, Eric, being crowned a West Virginia State Champion in 1989 at the 119-pound weight class. Potts also coached a rare four-time state champion in R. C. Anderson (1989-1992). He also coached two three-time champions in Chad Burge and Casey Hughes.
Coach Potts has earned a plethora of coaching citations throughout the years (1974-2005). At the state level, Potts was named the West Virginia A-AA Coach of the Year on five different occasions.
His accomplishments in the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference are even more staggering. Coach Potts' teams have won 15 OVAC Class A Dual Meet Championships. Furthermore, his teams were also crowned champions in 14 OVAC Class A Tournaments. For these coaching conquests, Coach Jim Potts was named the OVAC Class A Coach of the Year 15 times. These accomplishments are even more amazing when you realize that Cameron has a student enrollment of about 200 students 7 through 12. What a record!
Coach Potts also takes great pride in his 1996 squad receiving the Bob Sadler Sportsmanship Trophy in the award's inaugural year. He was beaming when his son, Eric, was crowned an OVAC Champion at 119-pounds in 1989, the same year he won states. Eric also went 40-0 that season.
As a coach, Jim Potts also played the role of a great humanitarian. Cameron Athletic Director, Bob Koch, said it better than this writer could pen it, "Coach Potts has used wrestling to get kids involved, and experience success that they might not have otherwise been able to enjoy. He was a crusader for kids who nobody else wanted."
Another accolade comes from East Liverpool's Dick Wolf (dubbed by many as the OVAC's wrestling historian), who states: "Coach Jim Potts's intangible contributions to the OVAC wrestling fraternity, the positive impact he has had on the athletes he's mentored and his commitment to excellence, which is his 'hallmark,' will continue to influence the lives of all who have come to know and respect him."
And his dedication continues. Coach Potts can still be found in Cameron's junior high practice room, helping to form future champions.
Coach Jim Potts has two children, son Eric and daughter Jaime. He is also very proud of his four grandchildren.
Congratulations to Coach Jim Potts - the 2008 OVAC Mr. Mat!
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