Serving the community since 1970

Gallardo named Coach of the Year

The Bakersfield Californian and BVarsity has named Juan Gallardo, Wasco High School varsity wrestling head coach, as Coach of the Year, voted for by all head high school wrestling coaches in Kern County.

"I am honored to be recognized as 'Coach of the Year.' " Gallardo said, "I don't do it to get awards. I don't like to get awards. It's not who I am as a person. I don't think any coach should get awards. I get it. It's an honor. I don't do it to get recognized at all. I do it to develop kids."

When asked what he believes are the most important qualities for a successful wrestling coach to possess, he said, "Being a servant to the kids and the community. People look at me as a leader, but I'm not. I serve these kids. I help them with their mindset, their schoolwork and their problem-solving. Holding them accountable for being a good person and being a good son or daughter to their parents is more important than being a good wrestler. When you have that, then wrestling becomes easier."

Others receiving consideration for Coach of the Year included Joe Blanchard.

For the 2023-24 BVarsity All-Area Girls Wrestling Team recognition, first team included Areli Solis, third team Irais Aguero, honorable mention was Serenity Rodriguez and sophomore Kylie Clark.

For the 2023-24 BVarsity All-Area Boys Wrestling Team recognition included first team Michael Rogers, second team Giovanni Ruiz and Ram Lopez, and honorable mention Jaime Gonzalez, Izick Perez, Juan Gallardo, Miguel Alvarez and Jacob Robledo.

Kishna Nored is the team mom who has helped Gallardo plan and organize for the last two and a half years. She said, "Juan deserves 'Coach of the Year' because of his dedication, leadership and ability to inspire his team to achieve greatness. He goes above and beyond on and off the mat. To Coach Juan, it's more than just winning; he strives to instill valuable qualities such as determination, resilience and a strong work ethic in his wrestlers. It's about guiding them towards becoming a successful and impactful individual."

Assistant varsity coach Garth Wara has been coaching with Gallardo for 11 years. He describes him as extremely selfless: "He constantly puts the needs of his student-athletes and his staff above his own. He is constantly working, coaching, fundraising or helping kids in any way they need help, either in wrestling, school or family needs. He is always there to help them maximize their potential as wrestlers, athletes, students and people."

Of his coaching style, he said, "He is a coach that holds his wrestlers to a high standard and demands great things of them because he sees the potential in them that they may not even see in themselves at the time."

As a coach, he said Gallardo is unique because, "He genuinely loves and cares about all of his athletes for a lifetime. His former wrestlers still come back and visit him and speak to how he positively affected their lives both in and outside of wrestling."

Coach Danny Arellano has known and worked with Gallardo for a little over eight years and said, "He is a passionate coach who loves the sport of wrestling and gives 110% to impact the young men and women who wrestle for Wasco High. He advocates and instills "student first, athlete second." He establishes and maintains rapport with parents and teachers to work together on supporting his student-athletes. Ultimately, his goal is to help the students succeed in the classroom and on the wrestling mat."

"Gallardo is a humble, modest coach who gives everyone else the credit for the success of the wrestling program. He is well respected by the wrestling community for his willingness to teach and inspire Wasco's youth. He takes pride in teaching his wrestlers about wrestling and how it relates to the real world and life. He teaches them principles like "attitude breeds effort," "hard work is a personal choice" and "quitting is not an option."

Arellano added that Gallardo is immersed in the world of wrestling. "He lives, eats and breathes wrestling. For him, wrestling is year-round. There is no such thing as a wrestling season for him."

"He invests lots of blood, sweat and tears (and I mean lots of sweat) ...into growing the sport of wrestling in Wasco. However, his success also comes from his ability to influence and encourage others to help him coach. Ultimately, it's his passion and love for wrestling that motivates him daily to coach and teach the sport."


Reader Comments(0)

Rendered 05/26/2024 12:25