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Jon Wolf adds another hat

The Gladstone High football coach will also coach wrestling
by: John Denny Jon Wolf discusses strategies with Mike Hess, as they prepare to run some of their wrestlers (background) through a summer movement dynamics practice. Wolf, who led Gladstone’s football team to the state semifinals last fall, has added wrestling to his coaching responsibilities.

GLADSTONE - Jon Wolf, the head football coach at Gladstone High School for the past five seasons, will add wrestling to his coaching responsibilities in the next school year.

Wolf replaces Mike Caudle, who resigned as head wrestling coach for personal reasons.

Wolf, who turns 53 in August, last fall led the Gladiators to one of their best football seasons in school history - a league championship and a 12-1 record.

This fall will be Wolf's eighth year coaching at Gladstone High School and his sixth season as head football coach. His Gladstone varsity football teams have compiled a combined 36-22 win-loss record, making the quarterfinals in 2006 and 2008, and the semifinals last fall.

Wolf, who teaches weight lifting and math, brought a movement dynamics program to Gladstone High School six years ago and he continues to run that program today.

He was a teacher and football coach at Rex Putnam High School from 1997 through 2003, and he taught at New Urban High School before joining the teaching staff at Gladstone.

Wolf is not new to wrestling. He wrestled at Beaverton High School, where he was a 1977 graduate, and he wrestled at Western Oregon University until the wrestling program was cut his sophomore year.

Wolf's teaching and coaching career spans 28 years. He was an assistant coach in wrestling at Beaverton, Glencoe, Hillsboro, Centennial and Rex Putnam high schools.

Wolf says there are three main reasons why he decided to take the head wrestling position at Gladstone:

'No. 1 - I just love Gladstone. It's a phenomenal community.

'No. 2 - The wrestling program has made some big steps forward and I want to take it to the next step.

'No. 3 - Mike Hess has done a fantastic job [running] the youth program and I want to help get Mike ready to take over the high school program….

'Mike and I have a goal to get Gladstone High School wrestling back to the glory days. Mike was a part of [Gladstone's] last league championship [in wrestling] in 1996.'

Hess, who has been involved in Gladstone's youth wrestling program on and off for six seasons, will assist Wolf at the high school during the upcoming high school wrestling season. A two-time district champion, Hess was a state champion his senior year (1996), along with teammates Dominic Fredrickson and Ryan Baumgartner.

Gladstone had one of its best wrestling seasons in years last winter, placing third at the Tri-Valley Conference District Tournament and advancing 13 wrestlers to regional competition.

The Gladiators had four wrestlers earn district titles in 2011: senior Jimmy Alger (112), juniors A.J. Prom (171) and Joe Yeaman (189), and sophomore Wyatt Finch (103).

Alger, who first took up wrestling as a freshman, placed fifth at the 2011 state tournament.

Following his finals match, Alger offered this advice to returning wrestlers: 'If you keep putting in the time and work hard, you're going to place at state. But you've got to work hard. It takes dedication.'

Wolf says he is hopeful he can increase the Gladiators' fortunes in wrestling by getting a few more football players to turn out for the sport.

'Coach Wolf is doing a lot of recruiting,' said Gladstone senior Connor Finch, who was a state runner-up in freestyle during the past season. 'He wants both wrestling rooms filled up. We haven't done that in some time.'

'We'd like to have a full lineup for both varsity and jayvee [wrestling] teams,' said senior football player/wrestler Nick Hernandez.

Hernandez, who won state titles in freestyle and Greco Roman wrestling this year, says he already knows of some football players and 'non-football players who are pretty good athletes' that plan to join the wrestling program.

'We have some pretty ambitious goals,' said Finch. 'Win district, win regionals, and win state. If we win district, it will be the first time since 1996….'

Finch and Hernandez have been busy this summer, preparing for the 2011-12 high school wrestling season. They've been at the high school, along with a number of their wrestling teammates, participating in Gladstone's movement dynamics program.