Wrestling Coach Montero Reaches 250 Dual Wins

Isabel Hanewicz, RHStoday Editor-in-Chief

IMG_0412In his 23 years of coaching at Robinson-13 as head wrestling coach- Thomas Montero has not been one for tears. But as he was honored for his 250th dual meet win as a head wrestling coach at Robinson at last Friday’s meet at Leto, even he got a little watery-eyed.

Trophy in hand, he wiped a stray tear as he walked back to the crowd of wrestlers who enveloped him into a group hug. After that, it was back to business. The team beat Alonso 58-18 for the 250th win. Up next was Leto. 250 wins don’t happen by acting cocky.

“250 is just a number, but I know we can get better,” Montero said. “I think I remember the losses more than the wins. It is hard to let those go. I can find happiness in knowing that win or lose, we did it the right way.”

In his tenure as head coach, Montero has lead arguably the most successful boy’s sport at Robinson for his time, in addition to winning coach of the year in 2005.

In his first year, the team went 19-6, won their first tournament, was district-runner up and went to the state championship. After that, he led his team to the first district wrestling title for Robinson since 1971, and the year they lost district- Montero thinks the scores were calculated incorrectly- the team won the regional meet, which had never before been done.

Individually, he’s had multiple state finalists, one year taking 10 wrestlers to the state meet. This includes 2013 State Champion and two-time state runner-up Luis Peguero, now a sophomore wrestling at Coker College. Peguero was the first state champion for wrestling since 1973 and the most recent boys state champion at Robinson.

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“It has been a long journey of restless nights, hard working seasons, sacrifices, tens of thousands of miles traveled, fund raising, struggles, emotions, attitudes that I have dealt with, focusing young men to be successful in whatever they do,” Montero said. “Exhaustion!”

Montero has no plans on taking it easy the rest of the season. With a little more than a month to go until the postseason, his team will continue the path of excellence he laid the foundations for so many years ago.

“[We will continue to compete] with integrity, commitment, and relentless fight and hard work. In [a] tough but gentlemanly way, with respect for ourselves, our opponents, family and school,” he said. “The Knight way! We are not done yet!”