ILWACO - Kevin McNulty will coach the 2007-08 Ilwaco varsity wrestling program after Mike Garcia decided to take the middle school post last week. McNulty, who is currently the Washington State Coaches Association President and who has coached 48 wrestlers who have qualified for state competition, returns to the Fishermen helm, a position he held from 1992 to 1996.
"I found out early last week I would be the varsity wrestling coach, so I've been busy talking with kids in the hall to see what interest there is in the sport. I am also looking into adjusting the schedule to better fit our level of competitiveness for this first season. I want to get a strong youth program in place as soon as possible, also," McNulty explained.
The Fishermen finished with three wrestlers last season - one has graduated and another has moved.
McNulty, who replaced Virgil Burger during his first stint as wrestling coach at IHS in 1992, is well-qualified for the job.
In 2004 he was named by his peers as Washington State Coach of the Year for all classifications. In 2003 he was honored as a "Coach That Makes a Difference" by King-5 TV and was also elected WIAA Sportsman of the Year, as well as again receiving the State COY Award. Besides being a varsity wrestling coach for 14 years at Ilwaco, Sequim and White River, McNulty has been a head football coach for 21 seasons.
In 1992 he began a youth wrestling program in the Ocean Beach school district and he plans to do the same in the future. Wrestling practices have already begun for the upcoming season.
In 1992 McNulty founded, and is the director of the K&K Wrestling Camp which annually draws 180 of the elite varsity wrestlers in the state. In 2006 legendary wrestler and coach Dan Gable came to Ilwaco to speak at McNulty's request.
From 2000 through 2005 at White River his teams finished second in the state three consecutive years and then fourth and fifth in Washington. In 2007 his girls team won a district championship. The road to that kind of success will likely be a long one, but one McNulty is willing to take.