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Danbury’s Shook, Lynch named coaches of the year by NWCA

Danbury High coaches Keith Lynch, front row, left, and Ricky Shook, front row, right, were named as Connecticut’s coaches of the year by the National Wrestling Coaches Association.

MANHEIM, Pa. – For the first time since 2012, the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) is presenting a state Coach of the Year award and a state Assistant Coach of the Year award to two Connecticut coaches.

Ricky Shook, the Hall of Fame coach from Danbury High, was named NWCA state coach of the year for the third time while Shook’s assistant with the Hatters, Keith Lynch was recognized as the NWCA assistant coach of the year.

The NWCA presented state coach of the year and assistant coach of the year awards to Connecticut coaches in six out of seven seasons from 2006-12. Shook was named head coach of the year twice in 2008 and 2009.

Shook and Lynch helped Danbury (14-1) win their second New England championship in three years – an impressive accomplishment considered that the last team to win a New England champions before the Hatters did in 2017 was Windham High 25 years earlier in 1992.

Danbury also won the FCIAC championship, a Class LL state championship and the State Open wrestling tournament. They were ranked No. 1 in the final Connecticut Wrestling Online state top 10 poll at the end of the season.

Danbury junior Ryan Jack won his second straight New England championship while junior Kyle Fields dropped a 1-0 decision in the final at 132 pounds. Kai O’Dell (106) and Tyler Johnson (120) both medaled and finished in the top six of their respective weight classes.

NWCA Head Coach of the Year (CT)
2006: Gary Tiger, Ridgefield
2008: Ricky Shook, Danbury
2009: Ricky Shook, Danbury
2010: Chris Piel, New Milford
2011: Mike Voiland, Bacon Academy
2012: Mike Cunningham, Xavier
2019: Ricky Shook, Danbury

NWCA Assistant Coach of the Year (CT)
2006: Ricardo Lopes, Ridgefield
2008: Matt Laskowski, Danbury
2009: Matt Laskowski, Danbury
2010: Ryan Fitzsimmons, New Milford
2011: Mike Morris, Bacon Academy
2012: Mike Daniels, Farmingon
2019: Keith Lynch, Danbury

No CT awards in 2007, 2013-18

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of Connecticut Wrestling Online. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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