After 46 years on the mats, John Sedlick has announced his retirement as wrestling coach at Wellington High School, effective at the end of this season.
He was honored Jan. 11 before the Dukes’ home meet, receiving a standing ovation from his current squad and a packed gym, which included a number of his former wrestlers.
The decision to step down has been a long time in the making and now seems like the naturally right time, Sedlick said.
“After all these years, I’ve wondered when I was going to give it up,” he said. “I’ve never worked in any other school district. It’s kind of the person I am, a stable kind of guy, but it’s also because of the people I’ve worked with here in Wellington. I just try to make the best of the situation I’m in. Sometimes you just have to ride the storm, work through tough situations, and see your way out.”
The beloved coach’s success didn’t leave room for many storms during his time leading Dukes wrestlers.
Sedlick has coached six state champions, 31 state placers, and 49 state qualifiers during his tenure at Wellington High School. He wrestled in high school in New York and in college at Ashland University.
In 2015, he was inducted into the Ohio Wrestling Hall of Fame before earning a spot in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame the following year.
His son, Scott, won a state championship at WHS in 1992 and notched one more state finals appearance. Before that, Sedlick helped his other son, David, qualify for state tournaments.
“For me, that was a great few moments,” said the coach. “Not just the winning, but getting to have them around me on the team for four years each, and getting to work with them on their technique in junior high. Being able to experience that will always be very special to me.”
From 1974 to 2011, Sedlick taught biology and physical education classes at both WHS and the old McCormick Middle School. He said the craft of teaching often lent itself to coaching and vice versa.
“You’re helping kids improve themselves and learn a good work ethic with either job,” Sedlick said. “It’s a matter of trying to get them to reach their potential. Working with kids has helped me keep feeling young.”
Sedlick said he plans on continuing to help area wrestlers develop their skills and work on construction projects with WHS teacher Dave Conklin.
“My goal has always just been to motivate and get kids interested in the topic at hand, whether that’s in a gym or a classroom,” he said. “I always wanted to make every lesson fun. That’s the great satisfaction of teaching.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.