While the Tullahoma High School boys wrestling team captured the district title on Tuesday, it was their head coach, Bob Callison, who was celebrated after he notched his 500th career dual-match victory.
Callison is in his first season as coach of the Wildcats. Before coming to Tullahoma, the THS wrestling coach spent 31 years in Arizona, where his teams combined for 479 dual-match wins.
“Reaching 500 wins is special,” Callison said. “It has taken me 30 years to accomplish this, and it’s special to do it here in Tullahoma. I can’t tell you how incredible everybody here in Tullahoma has been, from the booster club to the parents and the wrestlers. What they did for me tonight by recognizing me and this milestone is wonderful. The team and coaches have been talking about it for the last couple of weeks, so this moment is very special to me.”
With three wins on Tuesday night, the Wildcats not only gave their coach the milestone victory but also clinched the district title. Tullahoma dominated all three matches, defeating Community 75-6, before beating Franklin County 81-0 and winning the championship with a 53-18 victory over Cascade. Callison credits his wrestlers, coaching staff and the community of Tullahoma for aiding him in what’s been a strong season so far.
“I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the work of all the coaches who preceded me because they’ve done a great job building the wrestling community here in Tullahoma,” Callison said. “It is nice to have that support system set in place, including the fans, the middle school wrestling team and the youth wrestling program. That made it easy for me to come here to Tullahoma. I wasn’t trying to change anything, and I’m so thankful for Coach Sean Adkins and Coach Jeff Lester because I’ve learned a lot from them.”
This wrestling season has been full of accolades for Coach Callison. In November, he was inducted into the Arizona chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. While grateful for the recognition, Callison said he’s focused on the here and now, thankful to be in Tullahoma, and hopeful the Wildcats can earn their way into the TSSAA State Tournament.
“Since April of last year, it’s been a whirlwind,” Callison said. “I took a leap of faith coming here to Tullahoma. Last April was the first time that my wife, Tammy Callison, and I had ever been to Tullahoma, and we fell in love with it right away. Everybody was so nice and welcoming. We just love being here. It will be great to keep wrestling at the region duals and hopefully sectionals on Saturday.”
Tullahoma will next wrestle in the region duals tournament scheduled to take place at Cascade on Thursday. Matches are slated to begin at 6 p.m.