The Cottonwood Oak-Creek School District has hired Klint McKean as the new junior high wrestling coach.
This is the first time in over 10 years that the Middle School has hired a teacher who has an extensive background in wrestling. McKean was a 2001 MUHS graduate who at the time set the all-time state career record for wins with 179. McKean was also the No. 1 ranked 112-pound wrestler in all classifications, 1A-5A, as a State Champion at MUHS.
After MUHS graduation, McKean enrolled at ASU and was a part of the ASU wrestling team for a year. After a few years in the business program, he changed his major to education with the goal of someday returning to his hometown of Cottonwood to teach and coach wrestling.
McKean began teaching English at Mingus in August, and with this new coaching job as COC jr. high wrestling coach, McKean is very pleased to have achieved his goal he set five years ago at ASU. His goals are now to become a very successful teacher and to coach for the students of the Cottonwood community.
"We are very lucky to have such a remarkable young man comeback to his hometown to teach and coach our kids of the Cottonwood community," said coach Tom Wokasch. "Klint not only has expertise in wrestling but he also played football for three years at Mingus."
McKean is married to his high school sweetheart, Laura and they have two boys Isaac, 3, and Elias, 1.
Jarrod Tavasci is another great addition to the jr. high wrestling program. Tavasci will assist Klint McKean in his coaching duties. Tavasci was a 2003 State Champion at 119-pounds and was the team captain for the State Runner-up wrestling team. This was the first time a Mingus wrestling team had won a state-wrestling trophy. Tavasci was also the first two-time state champion for MUHS. He also, broke Klint McKean's all-time state record for career wins with 201. He was the third National Honorable Mention wrestler for MUHS. He continued his wrestling career at ERAU for two years. He currently owns his own electrical business.
This combination of McKean and Tavasci was the best lightweight one-two punch in Mingus wrestling history. They were teammates on the 2001 3rd place State team. The jr. high wrestlers will be receiving college-level training and wrestling technique from these two young men.
"I believe, these two will revive the middle school wrestling program and will someday surpass the accomplishments of the jr. high's best years of 2002-2006," said Coach Tom Wokasch. "They are homegrown and energetic, but they need the support of the community. The jr. high wrestling practices start soon and I hope the Cottonwood community supports these two young men by filling the wrestling room with a ton of 5th-8th graders ready to be mentored by Cottonwood's best as they strive to become state champions and great students, like their coaches Klint McKean and Jarrod Tavasci."