Coach Thom Retires From Wrestling Mats 
Jeff Thom

After 29 years coaching Briar Middle School and Perkins High School wrestlers, Coach Jeff Thom is hanging up his whistle. He’s going out on a high note.

His seventh and eighth grade wrestlers were young, unfocused, and inexperienced at the start of the 2018-19 campaign, but they went 9-0 as a team for the 2019 season and won the SBC championship outright.

“For me to go out the way I did,” Coach Thom said, “I couldn’t have scripted it any better.”

Thom’s coaching career at Perkins began in 1990 – the same year he graduated from high school. He was recruited as an assistant coach at Briar while going to college at BGSU Firelands.

He has been head coach at Briar for 22 years, as well as six years as an assistant coach for the high school team in the late 90’s. (Article continues below photo)


Jeff Thom and Travis Crabtree

Coach Thom was honored during the Perkins High School wrestling team’s home meet on Wednesday. Surrounded by his team, Coach Thom was presented a plaque and applauded for his tenure as coach.

Former Perkins wrestlers, Mike Cox, who was a 1998 state champion, and Nate Boggs, who was a 1996 state champion, were at the celebration on Wednesday. Coach Thom was the high school assistant coach when Mr. Cox and Mr. Boggs won their state championships. (Article continues below photo)


Mike Cox, Jeff Thom and Nate Boggs

Asked why he’s retiring, Coach Thom said he has had this date in mind for a few years, and wanted to coach his son, Jaxson, through the Briar Middle School wrestling program. Jaxson, an eighth-grader, was on his wrestling team this year and will move onto the high school team next year.

“People ask me what I’ll miss most,” Coach Thom said. It’s not the wrestling matches, but rather, he said, it’s the practice room, where he had the most impact on his wrestlers and could help them to improve.

“I’ve been blessed to have a successful coaching career, but for me, the most important thing I hope people remember is the impact I had on their kids.”

But don’t expect Coach Thom’s impact to fade. In addition to coaching wrestling, Coach Thom has taught as an art teacher at Meadowlawn Intermediate School and Briar Middle School. He currently is assistant principal at Briar, a post he’s held for four years.

Mr. Thom and his wife, Shelly, have two children – Jaxson, who’s in eighth grade at Briar, and a daughter, Sydney, who’s a senior at Perkins High School.

John and Jeff Thom, with team behind them

Posted by j_stacklin On 07 February, 2019 at 1:47 PM  

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