Mike Powell has announced he is resigning as the head coach of the Oak Park and River Forest High School wrestling program, effective immediately. Coach Powell will continue to work as an assistant wrestling coach with the Huskies. He cited the need for more personal time and said he simply felt it was the right time to step down. The Huskies won the 2014 IHSA Class 3A Dual-Team Wrestling State Championship earlier this month, defeating Marist High School 31-22.
During his 10-year tenure as head wrestling coach, Powell accomplished the following:
- Two dual-team state championships
- One dual-team 2nd place finish
- A total of six appearances in the dual-team state finals tournament
- 10 individual state champions
- 31 individual all-state wrestlers
- Top point-scoring team at individual state wrestling tournament four times
"Mike Powell is undoubtedly one of the most dedicated and passionate coaches that I have had the pleasure to work with at OPRFHS,” Athletic Director John Stelzer said. “Mike has nurtured a culture and a family within the wrestling program that is unmatched. His honors and accolades speak for themselves. But his most important accomplishment is the teaching and mentoring he has done with so many of our at-risk students, and the positive affect he has had on these athletes in their personal lives.”
“This has been the most fulfilling experience in my professional life,” Coach Powell said. “The Huskie Wrestling family means everything to me. I will continue to work on behalf of the wrestling athletes at OPRFHS, but it is time for me to take a step back.”
Powell is a graduate of OPRFHS, where he was a 1994 state wrestling champion during his senior year. He went on to earn All-American honors at Indiana University.
The School Board accepted Powell’s resignation at its March 20 regular meeting. Stelzer said the search for Powell’s replacement will begin immediately.