BLOOMDALE, Ohio (WTVG) - After 31 years, 540 dual wins and 80 state qualifiers, Dave Lee says he is finished as the head wrestling coach at Elmwood High School.
Lee retired from teaching Career Based Intervention a couple years ago and actually had a plan in place two years ago to retire as the head coach of the Royals.
Elmwood included Lee in the school's "send-off" of the two wrestlers heading to the OHSAA State Wrestling Championship over the weekend as it included a procession through the school hallways led by the drum line.
"(I've) never been a part of it, I've always just stood along the side and maybe took a picture or two," Lee said. "I thought it was pretty neat."
Dylan Hinton is one of Lee's final state qualifiers as Hinton finished second in the Division III 195 pound weight championship match.
"I was excited and I was sad that it was his last year, but it was just a special honor to be a part of that," Hinton said. "I was part of his 500th win. To think I'll be his last class of wrestlers in high school is just an honor."
Lee does not have to look far for his replacement. Nick Davis is the new head coach and is one of Lee's assistant coaches. Davis wrestled for Lee at Elmwood and has previous head coaching stops at Fostoria and Ottawa-Glandorf.
"After the success that Coach Lee has had, there's not a whole lot that needs changed," Davis said. "I wrestled for Coach Lee. I know his coaching style, I modeled much of what I do after what I've learned from Coach Lee."
Lee says Davis is a great fit for the program because he is savvy with technology, plus he works well with the students since Davis is a guidance counselor in the district.
While many may say goodbye to Lee, he is actually not going far as he will still work with Elmwood's Middle School wrestling program.