New boss has Badger blood

By Dave Cooney: email

Tucson, AZ (KOLD) - In the local wrestling arena you could argue that the name Bobby DeBerry is legendary, but when it comes to his numbers there is no debate. The former Blue Devil turned back the clock to become a Badger again as he hints at building another powerhouse.

After 17 years as the head coach at Sunnyside high school Deberry won the state title 15 times, the two times he didn't win he came in second.  That all came to an end in 2011 when the former national coach of the year decided to retire and leave Sunnyside to return to his alma matter, not to coach, but to teach.

DeBerry was hired as the schools professional academic trainer and said he was genuinly comfortable in his new role.  He added that he never thought he would be a coach at the high school level again.  At this point it's hard to argue with fate. This past January former head coach Rich Ortiz was dismissed from his position after a sexual misconduct case leaving the door open for a new head coach.

There just so happened to be one of the best high school wrestling coaches, ever, roaming the halls and I think it's fair to say it was pretty easy for both sides to reach an agreement. Big surprise, DeBerry took over on an interim basis while the school looked for a replacement.  After that, think it's pretty fair to say the romance between the coaching legend, his alma matter, and a new challenge, all fell for one another.

KOLD caught up with DeBerry Friday at the William Bell wrestling tournament at Pueblo High School.  Let's just say things have changed, for DeBerry, for the Badgers program, and for the landscape of wrestling in the Tucson area.

Click on the video link on the top right corner of this page to hear DeBerry's plans for the Badgers future, it's going to be a good one as long as he keeps talking like this.