Clair steps down as EHS mat coach

By on April 26, 2017
Josh Clair

Josh Clair

After 12 seasons as head wrestling coach at Ephrata, Josh Clair recently decided to step down in order to spend more time with his family.

With a wife and a year-and-a-half old son at home, Clair said Tuesday that the timing was just right.

“He’s only one which is why I figure this is a perfect time,” Clair said. “I was a head coach the last 12 years and have been coaching wrestling the last 15 years, ever since I graduated college. I think it’s just time for a change and to move on with my family. I’ll get back into coaching down the road but not necessarily as a head coach. It’s kind of nice to sit back and watch sports and enjoy the time with my family and take up a new challenge.”

A health and phys ed teacher at Ephrata, Clair also coached football and track at various times throughout his 12 years at the school. He remains a part-time football assistant and has been president of the L-L Wrestling League the past four years.

“Between being a head coach and doing so much with the league as president the last four years it was just time to step back before I do get to the point of missing something with my son,” he said.

Clair posted a 63-175 dual meet record during his time as head coach, but lack of numbers on the roster have directly impacted the Mounts’ dual records in recent years. On a positive note, this past season, three of his wrestlers— Austin Jones, Cameron Terry and Tyler Mentzer — were district qualifiers and all three will wrestle in college. Jones and Mentzer are headed to E-town College while Terry is off to Lycoming College.

“The biggest thing for me, and most people who know me know it’s not necessarily about the wins and losses over the years but rather the overall development in the kids, whether they develop on the mat, whether they develop in the classroom, or just life in general,” Clair said. “For me, this year we have our most guys going on to wrestle in college that we’ve had in a single season. It’s not necessarily about that. It’s about getting these kids through college and just seeing the growth some of our guys have displayed over the years, on and off the mat and in the classroom. To me, that’s where I’ve always tried to make the impact, getting these guys to not only believe in themselves but on the mat and in the classroom and in life. That’s probably what I take out of the last 12 years the most.”

While lack of numbers were always a factor throughout his tenure, Clair says he sees brighter days ahead, thanks to a replenishment of kids moving up from the youth level.

“It’s heading in the right direction,” he said. “What hurt us for so long obviously were the numbers. We’ve done a good job with getting the numbers back up with the elementary with coach Pat Detweiler and the group of coaches he has. The last two years they have done an outstanding job. They’ve gotten up to around 70 kids, and in the next couple years you are going to start to see more kids going to the middle school. The middle school is going to start seeing some of that success from the elementary. We just kind of had a little stall in numbers from down below but it’s rebounding as they move forward. I think the plan is in place with those guys and as they progress to middle school and on up to high school it will only get better.”

According to Ephrata High School Athletic Director Steve Sweigart, Ephrata will begin advertising the position in the very near future.

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