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Former Central Connecticut wrestler takes over at Timberlane Regional

Timberlane Regional’s Dan Donovan, left, Connor McGonagle, center, and Barry Chooljian after McGonagle’s 1-0 win over Danbury’s Kyle Fields at the 2019 New England championships.

PLAISTOW, N.H., May 15, 2020 –  Dan Donovan, the long-time assistant coach at Timberlane Regional, will take over for the legendary coach Barry Chooljian, who has stepped down after 34 years of coaching the Owls.

Donovan, a 1988 Timberlane High graduate, has been an assistant coach with the team for 17 years. He was a two-time New Hampshire champion with the Owls and a four-time state finalist. He wrestled at the Division I level for Central Connecticut State under Hall of Fame coach Ken DeStefanis.

Chooljian had an outstanding dual meet record of 613-52-5 and led the Owls to a record 10 New England championships. The Owls have won 20 of the last 21 Division I titles in the Granite State.

“I’m never going to be Barry Chooljian, but I hope to continue our success as a team and use the sport to make the lives of kids better,” Donovan told The Eagle Tribune in Lawerence, Mass. “We have similar styles and I’ve learned a tremendous amount from him.”

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 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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