West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

... on a Master Coach's Point of View

There are few mentors who have accomplished as much in their areas of endeavor as Bill Hinegardner, head wrestling coach at John Marshall High School until 1979.

His coaching credentials include four WV State Team Titles, three times voted as the WV Wrestling Coach of the Year, and numerous OVAC Championships. His teams have compiled a dual meet record of 115-17-1. So, whether you're a coach, participant, or wrestling supporter, I think you'll find this chat very informative and perhaps inspiring.

Coach Hinegardner, a veteran mat strategist of 15 years, firmly believes that coaching is just another field of teaching. And Bill's greatest satisfaction comes from watching his boys gradually progress and finally succeed in wrestling.

When asked what he thought was most challenging as a coach, Hinegardner responded, "I find maintaining a proper level of confidence in wrestlers the most difficult phase of coaching. For example, I feel it is my job to keep their confidence 'up' when they're losing and not allow them to become over-confident while experiencing success.

During our conversation, Bill had some very timely advice for young grapplers. He believes that they should stride to abide by the following "Five Commandments for Wrestlers":

Beyond his achievements as a master teacher of matmen, Bill Hinegardner has had the utmost respect of his colleagues. Coach Hinegardner emanates integrity and can rightfully be dubbed one of "West Virginia Wrestling's Men of Character."
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Updated July 11, 1997