Reinsch steps down as Helias wrestling coach
Thursday, April 4, 2013
For nearly 30 years, wrestling has been a big part of Travis Reinsch’s life.
But the head coach of the Helias Crusaders has decided it’s time for something else.
“I’ve been involved with wrestling since I was 10 years old,” Reinsch said Wednesday. “It seems like it’s always been a part of my life in one way or another.
“But it’s a decision that I believe is the best for me in the long run.”
Reinsch, 39, will be the director of admissions at Helias starting in the 2013-14 school year. He stressed the decision to leave wrestling was his and not made because of outside pressure.
“It was my decision and my decision alone,” Reinsch said. “I looked at the whole picture, what would be best for me and my future, and this decision is the one that fit me best.”
Reinsch was a state champion wrestler during his days as a student at Helias. He has been an assistant or head coach in the program since 1996.
“Obviously, if you look at our win-loss record the past few years, it’s not that great,” he said. “I have high expectations for this program and we weren’t reaching those expectations, either for myself or the program.”
Reinsch, along with David Ganey, took over for Mike Jeffries after the 2002-03 season. Ganey left after two seasons to take a position at Jefferson City High School.
The Crusaders won 12 state team championships under Jeffries. Helias’ best finish at the state tournament in the past decade was seventh, while three Crusaders captured individual state titles to go along with multiple other medalists.
“I never felt a lot of pressure following Mike, his success will never be matched,” Reinsch said. “There was a lot of stress taking over for Mike, but most of that I put on myself.”
Reinsch said things have changed a lot from when he wrestled and first became a coach.
“It seems like in the past when I started, there were more athletes who were willing to put in the time and the work,” he said. “All of the kids we have now are doing that, there just aren’t as many of them as there were in the past.
“I think families have decided they need to specialize in one sport at a young age, but that’s not true. When you look at the history of Helias or Jefferson City and when they had a lot of athletic success, it’s been when the very good athletes go out for more than one sport. They played two or three during the school year and it made them better athletes.
“Our numbers were down from what they’d been in the past in wrestling at Helias, but the kids we had worked extremely hard and did everything we asked of them. Hopefully, they all enjoyed the experience as much as I did.”
In his new position, Reinsch will travel to elementary schools to promote Helias and what it has to offer.
“I’ll always be involved somehow with wrestling, it just won’t be as a head coach anymore,” he said. “It’s time to get on with my new beginning.”
Helias activities director Doug Light said the search for a new head coach has begun and the school will look for candidates both inside and outside the program.
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