Archbishop Curley wrestling coach Gregg Kessler resigned Wednesday to pursue a new career with a consulting firm.

Kessler taught and coached at the school for six years, building an 84-21 record. Last year's team was one of the best. The Friars finished 16-4 in dual meets, had three Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference champions and were 10th overall at the National Prep tournament.

The school also won its first MIAA sportsmanship award and Kessler was honored with the Maryland Wrestling Officials Association sportsmanship award.


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"I've been wrestling since I was 6 years old," Kessler said. "I've been a head coach and one way or another involved in the sport for 30 years. I've given my heart and soul to my teaching and if I was going to teach and coach anywhere, it would be at Curley.

"But I think every coach ponders their lives and there is just something inside of me, some potential there that hadn't been tapped and an opportunity came that just seemed right. My heart is at Curley, but I couldn't turn my back on this new adventure. If I had, I'd be questioning myself all the time."

In a statement, Curley president Fr. Joseph Benicewicz said Kessler "has been a real asset to our school and wrestling program. We are grateful for his years of dedicated service."

Kessler's wrestling squads have been ranked in the Top 10 by the Maryland State Wrestling Association in all six years Kessler has coached at Curley.

Owings Mills coach Guy Pritzker, who coached and mentored Kessler since he was 6 years old, was caught by surprise when asked his thoughts on Kessler leaving Curley and coaching.

"I'm really sorry to hear this," Pritzker said. "He was always one of my favorite wrestlers. He was like a son and then a great friend to me. And I thought he was one of the finest coaches we have. As he's gotten older and more seasoned, he's been phenomenal. I really am sorry, because he has so much to offer the kids.

"But I know [Kessler] will leave a good foundation at the school for the next coach there to follow and I'm sure he'll still be around."

Kessler said as much. His new consulting job is in Baltimore and he said he wants to continue to be "as helpful to my athletes as I can. I still want to be a part of the Curley family."

A search committee is being formed to select Curley's next wrestling coach. People interested in applying should contact athletic director, Bill Dawson at 410-485-5000, ext. 213 or wdawson@archbishopcurley.org.

sandra.mckee@baltsun.com