Sunday, October 19, 2014

Wrestling: Gibble out as Hunterdon Central coach

By a vote of 8-1, Steve Gibble was suspended with pay as Hunterdon Central's wrestling coach for the 2014-15 season during Monday night's Board of Education meeting, according to tweets from sportswriter Harry Frezza.

Rumors had been swirling for several weeks as to the veteran coach's status. Attempts by Open Mike to reach Gibble over the weekend were unsuccessful, and the reasons for his dismissal have not been made public. According to Frezza, Gibble will retain his salary for the position, which he was approved to retain earlier in the year. In addition, seven wrestlers spoke in support of Gibble.

Gibble took over as head coach for the 1992-93 season when Russ Riegel, who started the program in 1957, retired after 35 seasons. Gibble, who wrestled under Riegel, won a region title in 1980 at 188 pounds for the Red Devils.

As head coach for 22 seasons, Gibble compiled a 348-119 overall record and his teams captured four Skyland Conference titles and 11 of the program's 19 sectional championships. Central also reached the Group 4 final seven times (1993, '94, '95, '99, 2000, 2003 and 2010). Riegel's teams went 1-4 in Group 4 finals, winning the program's only title in 1989.

This past season, Central went 19-6 and dropped a 55-9 decision to Phillipsburg in the North 2, Group 4 final.

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