The Washington Township Board of Education has named a new head wrestling coach, Ron Ippolite, who has not guided grapplers at the high school level since 1999. So I asked athletic director Kevin Murphy why he was given the job.
The athletic director reflected upon his own coaching past for the answer.
"I have been out of coaching for 10 years and I could step back in and not miss a beat," said Murphy, who was the head women's basketball coach at Drexel between 1995 and 2000. "First and foremost he [Ippolite] is an educator. His subject is wrestling."
Ippolite confirmed that the last time he coached wrestling in an "organized program" was 1999, when he assisted with Washington Township's high school program. He also assisted at Highland, where Ralph Ross Sr. was his wrestling coach.
The elder Ross is the father of Ralph Ross Jr,, who resigned the head coaching job at Washington Township in September.
A decorated wrestler in college and high school, Ippolite said he always dreamed of being a head wrestling coach, so when the opportunity surfaced he went for it. The fact that he teaches in the school district helped.
Ippolite has been a special education teacher at Chestnut Ridge Middle School since 1993.
Murphy said there were approximately a dozen applicants for the job.
"Coach Ippolite has been in our school district close to two decades," Murphy said. "First and foremost he excells in the classroom, where he is known for excellence and working with students."