Glendale gets new wrestling coach
The Glendale Area High School wrestling program enjoyed a banner year in the 2019-20 season.
After logging a 16-2 dual meet record, Glendale won its first-ever District 6 Class 2A team championship and sent four wrestlers to the PIAA state tournament at Hershey’s Giant Center, where Brock McMillen won his second consecutive state title.
After sharing Altoona Mirror 2019-20 Coach of the Year honors with Chestnut Ridge’s Josh Deputy last year, Billy Dubler stepped aside as Glendale’s head coach this fall and will continue as a volunteer coach with the team this year.
Dubler cited the need to devote more time to his family as being the major role in his decision.
“My family has to come first,” Dubler said. “I can’t dedicate the hours needed to be an effective head coach. I don’t have to be the head coach to make a positive impact. I’m excited about being a volunteer coach. I’m at peace with my new role.”
Brian Storm, an assistant coach on Dubler’s staff last season, was named the Vikings’ new head coach at a recent meeting of the Glendale School Board, where Dubler’s resignation as head coach was also accepted.
Storm, 45, is a 1993 Glendale graduate who wrestled for the program during his high school days, and whose daughter, Wynter, a senior, and Nathan, a sophomore, are current members of the varsity wrestling roster.
Storm has deep connections with the Glendale program, having served four years as the school’s junior high wrestling coach prior to becoming an assistant varsity coach last season.
Storm believes that his long-time familiarity with Glendale’s current group of varsity wrestlers will be a strong suit for him.
“I’ve been coaching some of these kids since the elementary school level, and I kind of moved up with them to the junior high level,” Storm said. “As far as this transition goes, I think that’s a good thing. They know me and I know them.
“It’s just going to be business as usual when we get into the practice room,” Storm added.
Glendale athletic director John Matchock said that Storm’s experience with Glendale’s current crop of wrestlers made him an excellent fit for the coaching position.
“He was the junior high coach for four years and he was an assistant coach last year,” Matchock said. “I think it’s a good hire because he has the experience and he was with the kids last year. As far as the coaching change goes, it shouldn’t be too (drastic) because the kids know what to expect from Brian, they’ve been coached by him in junior high, so they know how he coaches.”
Dubler also strongly endorsed Storm as his successor.
“Coach Storm is the man for the job,” Dubler said. “He’s a great leader and has a ton of experience. He’s going to do an amazing job.”
It’s also a big plus that Glendale returns a solid nucleus from last year’s very successful team, and that Dubler will still be around to offer guidance as a volunteer coach.
“They’re going to have a decent team coming back,” Matchock said. “I’ve dealt with Brian since he’s been coaching here. He’s always been a pleasure to work with, and I’m just looking forward to continuing that.
“There shouldn’t be too much of a dropoff,” Matchock added. “Bill is still going to be coaching as a volunteer. I’m sure that if Brian has any questions or concerns, Bill can help him out.”
Along with McMillen — a senior and University of Pittsburgh wrestling commit who has been a three-time PIAA state finalist and two-time state champion at 132 pounds last year and 126 as a sophomore – Glendale also boasts two returning PIAA qualifiers in Dubler’s two sons, Suds, a junior, and Zeke, a sophomore, along with a promising incoming freshman class.
“We’re hoping to build on last season,” Storm said. “We lost a couple of good seniors, but we have some good incoming freshmen, and I think that some of our middle weights are going to be better.
“We’re looking to have a really good year,” Storm added. “I’m excited. I’ve coached in this program at all different levels. I can’t wait to see what we can do this year.”