Ryan Frink takes over as Grand Valley High School wrestling coach in Parachute
Citizen Telegram Sports Editor
PARACHUTE — Ryan Frink doesn’t feel like taking over the head coaching duties for Grand Valley High School’s wrestling program will be any different than years past.
“I was right there with the team that whole time anyway,” said Frink, the school’s principal who also served as its assistant wrestling coach. “This won’t really be any different.”
Really, the only difference for Frink will be his title, with a few more responsibilities. He’ll take over a wrestling program that has had a lot of success in recent years, including the program’s first and only team wrestling title in 2008.
But the program’s success, Frink said, isn’t solely based on the number of individual or team championships the Cardinals have won. It’s been measured on the overall improvement of the team members, which he said can be attributed to the demonstrated improvements the program’s athletes have made in the past decade.
“We want to keep that here,” Frink said. “We’d like to get people excited about the program, and keep them there.”
Frink takes over the program from Rick Gallegos, who stepped down this past winter after 12 years at the helm. Grand Valley won that team championship during that time and has also had four individual state champions.
Frink, 38, is a graduate of Colorado State University in Fort Collins and a native of the Front Range, where he was a wrestling state qualifier at Berthoud High School. He’s served as an assistant coach — officially — for six years, taking an off-the-clock break as an assistant following the 2007 season.
Frink has also been the high school’s principal for the past eight years, meaning he’s become plenty acquainted with the double duty he’s preformed during the winter sports season for close to a decade.
His kids aren’t taking a break during the summertime, either. Frink, who is still searching for an assistant coach, took 14 athletes to a tournament in Paonia, where they each had a chance to wrestle in 10 to 12 matches over the course of the weekend.
“That’s nearly half a season’s worth of matches in a short amount of time,” Frink said. “It gives them a lot of experience, and that’s a good thing.”
And with that, his expectations for the program, and for the kids in it, will remain high, like they were under Gallegos.
“We’d like to be able to build this program with young men and women in a positive environment,” Frink said. “I have no doubts that we can do that.”
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