St. Louis Wrestling Coach Kevin Kuhn is rewarded with Coach of the Year!


Courtesy Photo

Coach Kevin Kuhn celebrates making it to semifinals at team state competition in Kalamazoo’s Wings Event Center.

Adry Munoz, Writer

It’s been a great year for the St. Louis wrestling team. Coming into the season, it was clear that this team was going to accomplish great things during the next few months. As the team had a high but reachable expectation to meet.

 From the beginning, the program got to work as they were conference and district champs for the seventh year in a row. Additionally, in 2022, the boy’s team were Regional champions for the first time in  27 years. This was only the second time in school history that the team has ever qualified for the state team tournament. The wrestlers got to compete as a team in the Kalamazoo’s Wings Event Center and made it to the semifinals. 

This year, St. Louis’ own Kevin Kuhn was announced as the High School Division 4 Coach of the year for the state of Michigan. This is a huge achievement for Mr. Kuhn and rightfully earned after all the success from the season.

Kuhn stated, “It was really quite humbling to hear the announcement. I had no idea, nor did I think I was deserving of the award. I mean, I’ve literally grown up around so many of the other coaches, and I know that they are head and shoulders above me in terms of coaching, so it was a complete shock.”

To add, the work Kuhn puts behind the scenes for the wrestling program is the reason his team is successful. Kuhn has been coaching here at St. Louis for 17 years, beginning in 2006. Since that time, there have been many accomplishments with the team. His teams have won numerous district, conference titles, invitationals, and match-ups.  Kuhn has also coached two state champions- Jayce Kuhnlein and Konnor Holton-both in back-to-back years (2017-2018). In those years, he’s also coached numerous all-state and runner-up finishers to add to the list. 

This year, there were five wrestlers coming home with all-state honors. There will definitely be more in the future, as some of the younger kids on the team shined bright this year; Colin Kuhn and Martine Wiggins both reigned as regional champions for their respective weight classes as freshmen. 

One of the biggest rules to having a successful sports program is consistency; you can see this rule implemented throughout the Sharks’ own wrestling program which is the reason for its growing success. 

Kuhn, along with the captains of the high school team, work a lot with the younger kids in the program. He finds the time to not only balance his hours of teaching with his wrestling team but also with the youth wrestling program, teaching key fundamentals and skills that will lead them to grow and understand what Shark wrestling is all about. Although the season is over, it’s clear that after the success of this team, there will be a higher expectation for kids coming from the younger grades and as well as ones coming back from last season. 

Yet besides fundamentals and skill, there are also numerous things coaches have to focus on that don’t necessarily have to do with the sport itself. Kuhn stated, “I think one of the most important aspects of coaching is understanding how different the needs of each wrestler really are. Not just technically, but personally, each student is always dealing with something out of his or her control. Most coaches understand this now.”

He added, “It used to be we all showed up and tried to work harder than everyone else and you were successful because of that. There are so many things now, outside of the wrestling room, that a coach really has to focus on.”