Going into his first season as a head coach for the Minooka Indians, Mike Kimberlin is ready for a dominant season for the Indians wrestling team.
“This year has been everything but normal. However, that is something we as wrestlers are pretty good at: adapting, evolving, and overcoming,” Kimberlin said. “I think this year will challenge all of us: athletes and coaches included. But in the end, we welcome those challenges. It makes us better human beings and better wrestlers at the end of the day.”
Kimberlin had a pretty good college wrestling career at the Division 1 level at Northwestern University but still keeps a chip on his shoulder.
“I wrestled at Northwestern University in the Big 10 Conference. I was an NCAA finals tournament qualifier and a four-year starter. I did not accomplish what I set out to do though,” he said. “However those experiences landed me where I am today. And, I think all of those failures were learning experiences and those experiences have helped me become a better coach, teacher, and father.”
After veteran head coach Bernie Reuttiger retired from coaching last year, Kimberlin has some big shoes to fill, but it’s safe to say Minooka is in good hands.
“Coach Kimberlin brings a wealth of knowledge to the wrestling program. His energy and competitiveness rub off on everyone in the room,” assistant coach Paige Schoolman said.
Kimberlin’s wealth of knowledge comes from many experiences throughout his years as a wrestler and as well as a wrestling coach.
“I have been coaching wrestling for a while now. It has been around 18 years of coaching,” Kimberlin said.
Minooka brings back many kids from last year’s state-qualifying team to the varsity line-up with some new faces as well but overall much experience throughout the team.
“The experience and the work ethic of the kids in the room should translate into a successful season for Kimerblin’s first year as a head coach,” Schoolman said.
Kimberlin, who has been in the Minooka wrestling room for a couple of years, has made many bonds with his wrestlers throughout the years which will help keep the energy in the wrestling room high.
“My favorite thing about coach Kimbo is his electric energy inside and outside of practice as well as his dedication and motivation towards coaching,” senior wrestler Jack McClimon said.
Kimberlin has made many memories throughout his years of coaching and as a wrestler but many of his favorites have come from coaching.
“I love watching kids raise the bar for themselves. I find joy in watching our student-athletes push themselves farther than they could go,” Kimberlin said. “In the end, I love wrestling. It’s done alot for me in my life. And, I want to help our athletes experience that.”
*Sean Tadel is a member of the boys wrestling team.