After 44 years of doing it his way, wrestling coach John Grillo prepares to step away
January 17, 2019


The wrestling coach shaking hands and hugging well-wishers looks fit enough to demonstrate an armbar to his team that would be a struggle to break.

John Grillo does sit down during his final matches as the Holley-Kendall coach, but then one of the team's middleweights comes to life on the mat. Grillo is on his feet, leaning left, drifting in that direction, moving as close as he can to the action on the mat.

A strong fist pump after a pin hardly suggests that this is a 65-year-old coach who should retire. But Grillo, whose teams at Pavilion and Holley have combined to win 795 matches over 44 seasons, knows better. He retired as a physical education teacher in Holley two years ago.