Garcia reflects on state wrestling coach award

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By Tucker Reichow

Sports correspondent

For James Garcia, wrestling has been a part of his life ever since he was young.

Garcia attended Brighton High School in the late 1980s, where he wrestled for the high school as well as for the Brighton Wrestling Club. The Brighton alum was a state champion for BHS in 1990 and, during his time during club wrestling, Garcia was a two-time Colorado state champion in the freestyle program in the late ‘80s.

Through all of his success at BHS, Garcia has bigger plans for his future as a wrestling coach.

“I want to coach at least to the 30-year mark, and then we will see what happens from then,” Garcia said. “I want the National Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the year award.”

After his time at Brighton as a student and a wrestler, Garcia went on to be a wrestling coach. Before returning to his former high school, he was a coach at Skyview High School for seven years. After coaching Skyview, Garcia went on to coach at Brighton where he has been coaching wrestlers for the past 19 years.

“I wanted to coach to give back to the kids and to the community,” Garcia said in explaining why he wanted to become a wrestling coach. “I was fortunate enough to have some of the greatest coaches growing up. I wanted to give that back.”

Wrestling is not just a seasonal sport. It’s an all-year type of sport and nobody knows that better than Garcia.

“Wrestling is not just a month, or a three-month sport, it’s year-round. I work with all age levels from 6 years old to 19 years old, all year round,” Garcia said.

After being an assistant coach at Brighton for 19 years, Garcia received the Colorado Assistant Coach of the year award for the 2017-2018 wrestling season.

“It’s an honor to win this award. It’s been 26 years of hard work, dedication, and loyalty. Thank you to the kids, coaches, as well as head coach Tom Wagner, and president of the Brighton Wrestling Club, Eric Heinz,” Garcia said.