Highline Wrestling and the state of college wrestling in WA
Posted by Tucker Carlson on 9/30/2020, 9:38 am
This will be a multiple piece post, as I don’t expect anyone to sit and read this for a lengthy amount of time. But also, to give my due diligence and report on the facts that I know. Not simply on emotions, which seems to be the way to report things in the news these days. Everything that you are going to read are either from first hand accounts, or through interviews that I have done. If I don’t know the answer to it, I won't put it down. So on that note, I have to say it....at least someone does at this point, Highline has been doomed from the start. So the next question is where to begin? For starters we can address the Chad Beatty situation since it is the most relevant at this point in time. Then I will trace it back to the root cause of where the program is today and why. |
Chad Beatty….Somewhat came out of nowhere to take over at Highline, when the rumor was that Jake Swartz was going to become the next head coach or even Kurt his brother. Which seemed to make sense at the time due to their local ties, coaching experience, and their resumes as wrestlers as well. Which made sense even more when their father Brad decided to open up a new gym, and also create a regional training center for wrestling. But, this section is dedicated to Beatty, and I will go back to Swartz's later. Some things were red flags from the beginning with Chad, one was he seemed to not try to go out and win the hearts and minds of the coaches and wrestlers within the community. Laying a foundation for future recruits and relationships for upcoming years. Some may argue that because it was his first year, and he was somewhat new to the area. However, I know for a fact that he didn’t follow through with situations and agreements that he had presented to certain people as far as helping in building the program, fundraising, recruiting, etc. Maybe he saw the challenges in it all, or he was already looking for greener pastures? Who knows?
Multiple other factors come into play as far as the commitment level goes with Beatty, whether it was because of Covid or other factors, no one knows really at this point except Chad and his wife. So I can’t really speculate as to why he chose to leave, although I will go and touch on those subjects later on as to perhaps why he came to that conclusion. A couple of other factors now looking back where strong indicators that Chad was going to make an early departure. First being that he let go the only wrestling assistant coach he had, who also had deep ties with the community as far as relationships with coaches, which in turn establishes a recruiting pipeline. This seems odd, especially when this said assistant coach helped build a recruiting class that was rather impressive and would have made an instant impact as far as making a deep run at the national tournament, which would help in the recruiting process later on down the road.
Those recruits as far as I know, were never signed nor pursued and chose to go elsewhere. This was happening also during the time Beatty was no longer returning emails, phone calls, and had let go his assistant coach (key things to remember). Now looking at other factors, Beatty posted an assistant coach coaching position on the intermat wrestling job board in August. That's right August, even though he let his assistant coach go in the springtime! That is almost begging for a program to be dropped, when you start your coaching search actually during the same time as your up and coming season. Furthermore, his departure from the program….When I first heard about it, then read it I wasn't surprised, especially with the cutting of ties that had been taking place. But the one thing that still doesn't sit well with me is the state of the program Chad has left it in. Although people will argue that it wasn't great when he got there, and wasn't able to recruit and only was able to make due with what he had this year and so on. But to go from telling people that he was going to make the program fully endowed, and utilize his ties with Iowa, etc. To leave the program with not only no head coach, but no assistant, no fundraising efforts, and no real recruits to speak of...I feel we all just got conned by a con artist who pandered to everyone about turning Highline into camelot.
The sad fact of the matter is that we all bought it, even myself...Because we all want Highline to win, we all want Highline to be great. Why? Because they are truly the last of the Mohicans in Washington, yet we can't help but wonder how are we having so much success on every level from schoolboy, cadets, and juniors. Producing more college ready and bound wrestlers than ever before (or at least I have seen) with the exception of when there were multiple college programs in Washington and the Northwest. Yet….struggling to even have a full line up at our only college program. Meanwhile programs around us in neighboring states are flourishing, while adding new programs almost annually. That is all for later though…
Did Chad have good intentions, I believe he absolutely did. Did Chad want to change the program and build a winner? 100%! Does Chad have a good heart and care about the program and the kids I think so. But it's hard to answer the last question with one hundred percent certainty, because if he did actually care about the program and the kids, then he would have left it better than before. Now the whole program has a big question mark hovering over it, and perhaps heading for the chopping block. While I can almost guarantee that Mr. Beatty will be coaching in Iowa within this next year!
As this piece continues, I will be talking about Scott Norton the former head coach, John Dunn the athletic director at Highline, the state of Highline wrestling, high school wrestling in Washington State, along with the state of college wrestling in Washington and why we need it more than ever.