Photo Provided // Gary Myers, left, and his son Kolton Myers.
Photo Provided // Gary Myers, left, and his son Kolton Myers.
Coach's Corner is a weekly 'Q' and 'A' featuring the coaches of Hamilton County high schools. This week's volunteer is Hamilton Heights wrestling head coach Gary Myers. 

Q: So you’ve been around wrestling for a few decades at this point. What keeps you wanting to stay around the sport? 

A: Wrestling is one of those sports that teaches you so much about yourself. It will truly teach you about sacrifices and commitments. Wrestling gave me a life I truly believe that not many have experienced, and I am just trying to pass some of those experiences along to my wrestlers. I have been at Hamilton Heights for six years. I will end my career here and fully understand what my life was meant for. I have been on the mats now for 44 years, and I am still on the mat wrestling with the boys every day.

Q: You really push academics for your athletes — even sending them to the library during practice if they need to catch up on homework — why do you take this approach with your team? 

A: The reason we are high on academics is very simple: When I was growing up, the truth was that no one ever cared about my academic career and I paid for it and had to take a longer route to get an education. I was given a full ride wrestling scholarship to Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona, when I was 29-years-old and was the school’s second All-American. I will not let that happen to my wrestlers — I am constantly asking about their grades, and if they are behind, I tell them to go to the library instead of coming to practice to get caught up. When they leave our program, they have to face a whole life without wrestling, they will need an education, and Hamilton Heights will give them that education. If you are not doing well in academics at Heights, it’s not because we didn't care. It’s probably because you didn't utilize our resources, and I make them do that every day. When they come in as freshman, I tell them I want them in three years to be Academic All-State Wrestlers. That means more to me than anything.

Q: For someone who’s been in the sport for so long, you probably have some fond memories. What is a moment or personal achievement you’re most proud of? 

A: Meeting all kinds of people is special to me and each one of them I learn from. I am very proud of chasing whatever dreams I come up with and accomplishing them. I can't tell you how many times I said I wanted to accomplish something and somehow I found a way to get it done. Some have taken longer than others, but they got done. I was never a natural athlete I was just a hard worker and I pushed myself harder than most.

Q: You spearheaded the start of girls high school wrestling in the state last year. Why was getting this off the ground important to you?

4: So getting the girls wrestling state championship off the ground to me just started as I was tired of coaching girls only to have to compete against much bigger and stronger boys and most times never making varsity. I have had girls in my program and have had clinics that girls have showed up to. I just was over it. I said to myself, “there has to be a better way for these young ladies,” and I decided to do something about it. I asked a few girls how would you like to compete against your peer group during the season, and they were very excited for me to make that happen. So I contacted the IHSAA and ask for their blessing and got it.

Q: If you could time travel, what time period would you want to go back to and see? 

A: This is a tough question but I always say I wish I could go back to 1930's I feel like an old soul anyway. I would love to see some of my grandfathers when they were young.

Q: What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?

A: I have received so much great advice in my years. I think my mother has given me the greatest gift and advice and that is teaching me about God and his role in our family's life as well as mine. I have had many give me advice, but there is no better advice than that you can ever get from someone that loves you with their whole heart. My father always taught me about respect, honor and integrity. These are three things I try to live by everyday. Besides my parents, probably the best advice I ever got was pick and choose your fights wisely in life.