WEST VIRGINIA MAT THOUGHTS
HEAD WRESTLING COACH
WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY
by Dr. Bill Welker, Jasper N. Deahl Educator Award
West Virginia University
Coach Tim Flynn was the ultra-successful wrestling coach at Pennsylvania's Edinboro University for 21 years. During his tenure there, Coach Flynn compiled a 223-95-5 dual meet record. He produced three NCAA DI national champions
(John Koscheck, Gregor Gillespie and Jarrod King), eight national finalists, 38 All-Americans, and 150 national qualifiers.
Coach Flynn's "Fighting Scots" have won 17 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) and 15 Eastern Wrestling League (EWL) Titles. They also had five top-10 finishes, 14 top-20 finishes, and 18 top-25 finishes at the national championships.
Coach Flynn has been selected 13 times as the PSAC Coach of the Year and seven times as the EWL's top wrestling coach. He also received NWCA DI Coach of the Year honors, shared InterMat Coach of the Year honors with Minnesota's J. Robinson. He was also honored as Win's Dan Gable Coach of the Year.
Let's now pick Tim Flynn's brain regarding his thoughts on coaching at WVU and his wrestling philosophy.
Welker: What are your goals as head wrestling coach of the "Mountaineers" of West Virginia University?
Coach Flynn: My immediate goal is to remember everyone's name! But seriously, the first goal is to make sure the guys know the expectations we have of them. Basically, to get them on the same page as the staff. We have to also let the alumni and potential student athletes know what our plan is for WVU Wrestling.
Welker: Even at the DI level, do you think the basics/fundamentals/essentials are still important? Why or why not?
Coach Flynn: Absolutely! The basics still win at the highest level!
Welker: Is there any specific area in wrestling that you believe is most important to perfect?
Coach Flynn: Proper in-depth preparation, perfecting all skill areas for each and every competition.
Welker: As a DI coach, what qualities of collegiate wrestling officials do you expect to see?
Coach Flynn: I want the highest qualities in integrity, professionalism, consistency, hustle and proper mechanics, anticipating moves, not reacting to them. After all, DI wrestlers are the best of the best; thus, they deserve the best in officiating.
Welker: What specific characteristics do you look for when recruiting a high school wrestler?
Coach Flynn: He should demonstrate success on the mats and in the classroom, possess a strong work ethic, and exhibit the highest in moral character.
Welker: Today, many high school athletes just concentrate on one sport unlike athletes of the past. What are your thoughts regarding this new approach by scholastic athletes?
Coach Flynn: I have seen wrestlers have success that have played multiple sports and those who focuse solely on wrestling. In general, I guess I like kids that are working on their craft year-round because the competition at the DI level is of the highest caliber.
Welker: What are your thoughts on reinstating "riding time" at the high school level to better prepare wrestlers for college wrestling?
Coach Flynn: I think the rules for high school and college should be exactly the same - the same length of matches, rules, scoring, etc. It would be so much easier for everyone involved or associated with the sport, including fans, officials, and athletes!
Welker: What activities would you recommend high school wrestlers perform in the off-season?
Coach Flynn: They should lift weights, run, and wrestle. Also, the wrestler should focus on skill development and strength building a bit more. In other words, workout just about the same as you do in-season!
Welker: What advice would give to parents of today's wrestlers?
Coach Flynn: Let the coaches coach! You should support your coaches as much as your son or daughter.
Welker: When did you originally get involved in wrestling?
Coach Flynn: I believe I started to wrestle in third or fourth grade.
Welker: What advice would you give to youth wrestlers?
Coach Flynn: Listen intently to your coaches! And just as important - Have Fun!
Welker: Finally, Coach Flynn, is there anything you would like to add to this interview that you feel strongly about regarding the sport off wrestling?
Coach Flynn: Wrestling is the best sport by far!!!! But, of course, I'm biased!
Coach Flynn, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to respond to this interview. I speak for all West Virginia wrestling aficionados in wishing you the very best as West Virginia University's ninth head wrestling coach.