Mason Goretsas won two state championships as a high school wrestler at North Carroll before putting together a career at University of Maryland and McDaniel College.
Goretsas performed well for the Green Terror, but had something else in mind for his wrestling life even while he was competing.
He spent the next four seasons as an assistant coach with McDaniel’s wrestling program. A recent change at the top gave Goretsas an opportunity to ascend, and he didn’t pass it up.
Davey Blake, the Terror’s coach for 11 years, posted in late June on the McDaniel Green Terror Wrestling Facebook page he was resigning because “professional advancement and a little addition to my family this August necessitated a re-prioritization of time and responsibility.”
Goretsas said Blake told him to apply for the job, which he did. Wednesday the Green Terror made it official and hired Goretsas as their new coach.
“All I’ve really ever wanted to do was coach,” Goretsas said. “Through college and wrestling, the career didn’t turn out as well as we had all hoped. I actually didn’t use my last year of eligibility to begin coaching.”
Goretsas, 26, graduated from McDaniel in 2015 after going 67-27 in three seasons on the Green Terror’s wrestling squad. He twice placed at the Centennial Conference championships — fourth at 141 pounds in 2012, and fourth at 149 in 2014.
Goretsas graduated with his bachelor of science degree in exercise science the following year, and completed his masters in kinesiology this past spring.
McDaniel went 4-10 in dual meets last season and placed eighth out of eight teams at the Centennial tournament. Blake was 75-123 as McDaniel’s coach, but twice led the Green Terror to a third-place finish at the conference tourney in 2009 and 2013. He coached three Centennial Conference Wrestlers of the Year, and guided seven grapplers to NCAA all-America honors.
Goretsas said the team’s goals remain the same, and while he looks to tweak a few things along the way coaching philosophies won’t be too different. In a few months, he said, he’ll be 100 percent in.
“October comes around, everything shuts down,” Goretsas said. “It’s wrestling season, and it always has been that way. It’s been that way since we were, I don’t even know how old. …It won’t be anything new in that sense at all.
“We don’t ever plan any vacations or anything, from October to March.”
McDaniel athletic director Paul Moyer said in a news release Goretsas’ knowledge of the program, and his Carroll County wrestling acumen, made him a deserving candidate to elevate as Terror coach. Plus, Goretsas has family ties to McDaniel — his brother Tom and father Brent are former Green Terror wrestlers.
“From growing up around Green Terror wrestling to his time as a student-athlete and coach at McDaniel, we know that Mason will continue the proud tradition of our program,” Moyer said in the release.
Goretsas won his high school state titles in 2009 and 2010, was a three-time state finalist, and finished his North Carroll career with 105 wins.
His competitive mat time might be up, but Goretsas said he is eager to get started on his next wrestling phase.
“When I came to McDaniel to wrestle, we were not very good,” he said. “And then we got a couple recruiting classes. I think in my last year of wrestling … I think we had six of seven placers out of 10, which is pretty good.