Harford Tech teacher and coach Gary Siler dies suddenly at 58
By Staff reports
Apr 08, 2015 | 12:19 PM
Gary Siler, who built Harford Tech into a regional wrestling power and was the school's current softball coach, died Friday. He was 58.
Harford County Sheriff's Office deputies were dispatched to the 3300 block of Grier Nursery Road on Friday around 10:50 a.m. for a report of a cardiac arrest, Kyle Andersen, a spokesperson for the Sheriff's Office said.
The incident was determined to be a suicide, Andersen said, but he declined to provide additional information.
"Gary Siler touched and influenced thousands over his teaching and coaching career," Mike Mazza, who succeeded Mr. Siler as Harford Tech's wrestling coach in the 2012-13 season, said.
"I'd like to remember Gary by celebrating his many accomplishments," continued Mazza, who had been an assistant under Mr. Siler for several years. "It's difficult for us to understand what happened, but we can all learn from this experience. Even the strongest people have weak moments. If you have a weak moment, step back, wait and talk to someone. Be assured, the feelings you're having in that moment will pass."
"Twenty-five years ago, Dick Slutzky shared his formula for success with Gary and I, a few years apart," Keith Watson, the head wrestling coach at John Carroll School in Bel Air, said of the former Aberdeen High and John Carroll coach and hall-of-famer, who is now president of the Harford County Council. "Consequently, it fueled a friendly rivalry between us."
"Regardless, we worked together with the Harford Grapplers and running wrestling camps," Watson said. "Gary was a well-liked and a respected part of the Maryland wrestling community."
Slutzky took a moment during Tuesday night's County Council meeting to honor Mr. Siler, saying he met him more than 30 years ago.
"He was a mentor and a leader for an uncountable amount of young people in Harford County and he'll be sorely missed," Slutzky said.
Mr. Siler had more than 350 career match wins over 24 years and guided Harford Tech to a state title in 2006.He was named The Baltimore Sun's All-Metro Coach of the Year in 2006.
This was his first season coaching Harford Tech's varsity softball team.
A Harford County native, Mr. Siler grew up in the Bel Air area and was an Army veteran. He began his teaching and coaching career in 1988 at Harford Tech, where he taught masonry and landscaping. He also coached baseball, football and golf.
He was inducted into the Maryland Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2012 and received the Lifetime Service to Wrestling Award, according to his obituary from McComas Funeral Home.
Survivors include his father, his wife, their two daughters and two brothers.
Visitations will be held at McComas Funeral Home, 1317 Cokesbury Roadin Abingdon, on Wednesday, April 8, from noon to 3 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. and Thursday, April 9, from 2 to 4 and 6 to 9 p.m. Services will be held Friday, April 10, at 3 p.m. at Oak Grove Baptist Church, 2106 Churchville Road in Bel Air.