WESTFIELD, NJ — Glen Kurz has stacked up more wins than any Westfield High School wrestling coach in the program's history.

The Athletics Department announced last week that Kurz tied the legendary coach Gary Kehler with his 239th win. That was before the Blue Devils beat New Providence on Friday and surpassed Warren Hills in competition Saturday. The win record, however, has been far from Kurz's mind.

“Right now, we're in a heavy competition part of our season, so the focus has been on getting our kids prepared for tough matches,” Kurz told TAPinto Westfield on Monday. “I'm sure at some point it will be something to feel good about.”

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When it was announced, however, the record came as a pleasant surprise.

“Gary Kehler set the standard for coaching, not just with wrestling, and not just in Westfield,” Kurz said. “He is a legend. When I first started coaching, Gary would come to our matches.”

While the program was then struggling, Kurz said, Kehler lent his support.

“He always had words of encouragement and support,” Kurz said. “Gary was mellow and soft-spoken, but when he spoke, you listened.” 

Kehler coached wrestling and golf at Westfield High before becoming one of New Jersey's greatest football coaches. He died in 2007.

Early in this season, the Westfield wrestling team saw success by defeating Jackson Memorial, Scotch Plains-Fanwood and Gov. Livingston, winning the Delaware Valley tournament and placing seventh at the prestigious Sam Cali Tournament.

Kurz said he doesn’t have any tricks. And he was quick to credit his fellow coaches and others surrounding him for the success.

“We've had success because I've surrounded myself with good people,” Kurz said. “My coaching staff is outstanding. Don MacDonald and John Cheddar have been with me forever. Christian Barber and Colin Mackay have been awesome additions.

“I have good people in place in our middle school and PAL program. I have a supportive AD, supportive parents, and kids who work hard and are willing to do whatever we ask of them.”

Westfield High School Athletic Director Sandra Mamary said Kurz is among the most dedicated of coaches in the athletic department.

“He truly utilizes the wrestling program as an extension of the classroom,” Mamary said. “He is a language arts teacher at Roosevelt Intermediate School in Westfield and understands the daily demands on our student athletes. Glen works tirelessly in the summer taking the student athletes to camps while meeting them for strength and conditioning in the fitness center. He treats his athletes like an extended family and the athletes respond to his style of coaching.”

Email Matt Kadosh at mkadosh@tapinto.net | Twitter: @MattKadosh

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