Coach Gordon calling it a career after 50 years
CUMBERLAND, R.I. (WJAR) —
The year was 1959.
Steve Gordon won the State Wrestling Championship at Cranston High School.
"I went to one match and that was it. I said, 'Well, this sport is for me,'" said Gordon.
Gordon began his teaching career at Cumberland High School in 1967. After one year of teaching, he started a wrestling program and the rest is history.
"It's been enjoyment. I love coaching. My family loves coaching, we love going to the matches," said Gordon.
Along for the wild ride has been his wife, Judy, who is also in the Rhode Island Wrestling Hall of Fame.
"When we first met, he was into wrestling so I said, 'I better get to a point where I know what I'm doing with it and be able to support him because this is what his life is going to be.' So, it began my life too, and I love it," said Judy Gordon.
"She was the nurse and the trainer and the score and she ran tournaments," said Gordon.
As for why coach Gordon his finally calling it a career at 76 years old?
"I have to be able to demonstrate techniques and skills and if I can't do that, it's probably time for me to leave," said Gordon.
Gordon has built a family-like atmosphere at Cumberland High School dating all the way back to the 1960s -- all you have to do is ask his former wrestlers.
"He is like the Michael Jordan of Cumberland wrestling -- the all-time great," said former CHS wrestler Aaron Wilcox.
The State finals will take place this weekend, followed by the New England in the first week of March, and then Gordon's 50-year career will come to a close.