His team had just pounded Marion Center, 67-12, on the first day of the Richland Duals and Tyrone coach Blair Packer was ready to go on to the next match.
Instead, Tyrone wrestling boosters president Steve Beckwith called him back to the mat to present Packer with a glass plaque honoring him for his 300th win.
"I was thinking he was going to tell me something about meals," Packer said. "He shook my hand and presented me with the plaque. It's interesting. I forgot all about the 300 wins. I became aware of it probably last year, but I didn't give it much thought.
"It means a lot to hit a milestone like that. I know a lot of coaches who don't get to that point. I wanted to achieve it. It's a tribute to the assistant coaches and teams that have come before. I owe a debt of gratitude to them."
Packer earned 193 of those wins in a 21-year stint at Glendale. Packer's first wrestling job came in 1980, when the then 29-year-old was hired at Glendale to take over a fledgling program that was only in it's fifth year of existence and had gone through two coaches already.
"They hadn't had a winning season yet," Packer said, "and one of my goals was to get a winning season and try to prepare them for the postseason. I had a great, great 21 years there. Part of what I'm proud of is the last nine or 10 years we have kids going to states. That said to me that we were going the right things."
Among the success stories in the early years were Tom Ross and Jim Orichosky. Ross was a state runner-up at 185 pounds in 1986, losing to Lakeview's returning state champ Rod Wright, 3-2, and Orichosky finished fifth at heavyweight in 1985. Packer also points to Brian McClellan, who was his first District 6 Class AA champion in 1981.
Packer has coached at Tyrone for 12 years, amassing a 109-91 record, but even more important, coaching two state champions in 275-pounder Terry Tate in 2005 and 135-pounder A.J. Schopp in 2010. Schopp was a three-time finalist and four-time placewinner. Ronnie Garbinsky was also a four-time placer and four-time district champion.
"I feel he's a good coach," Tyrone assistant Darren Desch said. "He's real good with the kids. He wants to give them a future and to be a man of your word. If you say you're going to be there and do something, then do it. He's honest with the kids and expects them to be honest. We're all proud of what he's done and hopefully we'll continue to get him more."
Packer grew up a wrestling family that made its mark at Bald Eagle Area. He has five brothers and a sister, and all the boys wrestled. In fact, his brother Paul, a longtime referee, was inducted into the District 6 Hall of Fame in 2008, and Blair presented his plaque. Blair Packer will be inducted into the District 6 Hall of Fame this year.
Blair Packer said he developed some of his coaching style learning from high school coach Joe Humphreys, who will be inducted into the Pennsylvania chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame later this year.
"My coach was extremely influential in my life and my brothers' lives," Packer said. "He was very influential at Bald Eagle. He put Bald Eagle on the map. I wanted to do for kids what he has done for me. I wanted to put fire in their heart and for them to set goals. I wanted to try to embrace preparation, which is the name of the game. Everybody wants to win. Are they willing to prepare?"
Packer wasn't too much into preparing when he went to Maryland on a wrestling scholarship. He pulled a tendon in his foot the first semester of his freshman year, and he dropped out of school.
"I went to college for the wrong reason," Packer said. "I went to school to wrestle and not to go to school. When I got hurt, I questioned why I was there."
Out of college, he was drafted by the United States Army in 1970, did a two-year hitch and came home to work at Corning Glass. He went to Penn State on the GI Bill, got a job teaching phys-ed in the Glendale School District, which he recently retired from, and became the wrestling coach.
Packer said wrestling has changed a lot over 33 years.
"The rules have moved to freestyle," he said. "In the beginning, riding was a big thing. Now, takedowns have a bigger impact. There's different moves. Now, you can get off to the sides of kids and ride. T.J. was a prime example of that with his tilt. A.J. took it to the next level. Before, it was called a cheapie and not done."
What has also changed is how he interacts with the wrestlers.
"From what he has told me, back in the old days, he was a bear," Desch said. "He said he used to be really tough on the kids. We're easy going with the kids, but we like to push them hard. He knows he can't be quite as hard with them because the kids will walk."
Packer was named the Mirror's Coach of the Year in 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 after his teams captured District 6 Team Duals titles. His recent Tyrone teams have been hard-pressed to reach that level, including last year's team that went 6-16. The Golden Eagles have shown signs of improvement this season as they hold a 6-8 record.
"We kind of took our licking last year, and this year, we're coming back around," Packer said. "We're on the upswing again. It goes in cycles."
So how long will he continue to coach?
"That will be a year-to-year thing," Packer said. "I talked it over with the assistants, and they told me they'd coach until I was done. I don't want to quite and leave the program hanging. I feel pretty good about my career as a coach and what has happened over the years. I still enjoy what I do. I just take it one year at a time. One thing is I have no ailments whatsoever."
"I think he came from a wrestling family and has a passion for it," Desch said. "He probably has five or 10 more years in coaching if he wanted to."