Breckenridge Cowboys varsity wrestling Co-Head Coach Tom Haire tells the Daily News that he will step down from the program after five seasons with the team.
Just like many other coaches in the community, Haire went through a lot this season trying to balance being the principal of St. Mary's School and coaching the Cowboys during a COVID-19 season.
"What I came to the realization is that there's not enough hours in the day to do my current job and to be a head coach," Haire said.
He still hopes to remain involved with the wrestling community.
"The wrestlers that are around now, I want to keep that connection. I want them to finish out," he said, about the wrestlers currently on the team.
Haire intends to offer guidance for whoever takes over his role next season, whether it's with paperwork or actual coaching, he said.
He moved up five years ago coaching both the youth program and the varsity program. This past season, Haire was joined by Co-Head Coach Eric Erlandson. He has given Erlandson high praise as a coach for being one of the best in the state.
"We were a great combination," Haire said. "Eric (Erlandson) is the technician, he is who you want teaching your kids how to wrestle."
Haire has been there behind the scenes with the program, setting up practice times, helping set up meets and bus schedules and keeping up with other coaches around the state. The program is looking for someone to be that replacement, whether its Erlandson or someone stepping in to take over that part of the team.
Deciding to step down wasn't an easy decision. There are some things that he will miss about coaching.
"The biggest thing is being around the athletes," Haire said. "I really thoroughly enjoy the wrestling family. When I say that, it starts with the wrestlers, it's the parents, it's the managers, it's the other coaches, it's the other alumni coming back ... as a coach, I see the brotherhood that develops with the other wrestlers."
Haire will serve as an advisor for many wrestlers that he still coaches in the youth wrestling program. He and Erlandson will be involved with making sure the youth program has wrestlers who will get to fill weight classes for the varsity team. This season, the youth season and the high school wrestling seasons are at different times. Haire will still be involved with the youth program while still being around for varsity wrestling meets next season.