Ridgway wrestling varsity head coach Gary Gerber has announced that he will retire after this upcoming season.
Gerber made the announcement on the radio show "Talk of the Town" aired on 97.5 The Hound, and hosted by Dennis D. Heindl, on Sunday afternoon.
Gerber started with Ridgway as the junior high coach in 1974 and has been the varsity head coach since 1983.
"That is true. I started in 1974 so this will be my 38th year. I'd like to spend some time with my grandkids," Gerber said. "I'd like to do some traveling with my wife who's been awesome through all of this. I'd like to give her some things that she'd like to do.
"It's just time," Gerber said. "There's a time when you know it's time and this is it."
Gerber is looking forward to spending more time with his family in his retirement.
"I owe it to my family," Gerber said. "You'll find out when you're a head coach, you tend to distance yourself except from your immediate family. Your aunts and uncles, some of them I haven't seen for a long time. Your family becomes the wrestling program, all the parents, the school administration, they become your family. I'd like to give back to my family for a lot of the things that they've done. There is some traveling I'd like to do. I really haven't been to that many places and I'd like to see this great country of ours and see what's out there. Hopefully after this season, I'll have some time to do those things."
Gerber said the pressure will be lessened as he retires.
"It's time for me to maybe spend a little more time with my family and enjoy it, and take the pressure off of being under the gun to win all the time," Gerber said. "It might be nice to sit back and relax. When you're the head coach, you worry about every kid like they're your own. It takes a lot of stress and pressure on you."
The contentment with retirement was something Gerber stressed over but he is now at peace with his decision.
"It's something that scared me for a long time because wrestling has been so much a part of my life," Gerber said. "I was actually afraid of retiring. I was worried about it, now I'm pretty content and happy with what I'm doing."
Pick up a copy of the Monday, Oct. 10, 2011 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.