The coach who helped Payson become the small town wrestling capital of the United States is returning to the Payson High School wrestling program.
Dave LaMotte has accepted the coaching position, replacing Rich Ormand who resigned last spring.
It was Ormand who replaced LaMotte when he stepped down in April 2003 after two successful years as head coach and several other seasons as varsity assistant to Dennis Pirch.
When LaMotte resigned in April 2003, it caught many in the district by surprise, since the previous season he guided the Longhorns to the East region championship and a state second-place finish.
A year earlier, in LaMotte's first season as head coach following Pirch, the Horns finished as regional and state runners-up.
Prior to becoming only the second head coach in the history of the Longhorn wrestling program, LaMotte was head coach at Gilbert High School.
At his West Liberty State alma mater, LaMotte was a collegiate All-American who grew up idolizing current Iowa State coach Bobby Douglas, then an Olympic wrestling hero.
Known as a tireless worker, a shrewd tactician and a man with integrity, LaMotte seemed to be the perfect fit to replace Pirch who founded the program in 1973.
During his short tenure at PHS, LaMotte coached many of the Longhorns' finest grapplers including Matt McCarty, R.C. LaHaye, George Coleman, Zach Lee, Larry Wilbanks and Nate Lee, now at Boise State University.
In resigning, LaMotte said he was not satisfied with the outcome of the two seasons he was at the helm, and he took full responsibility.
A part of his letter of resignation read: "It is my belief that there is a prevailing expectation of society for the high school coach to be all things to all people.
"I also believe that in many cases, the expectations of the parents do not correlate with the commitment of the student/athletes. Dealing with these issues requires a very strong commitment from the coach along with much patience."
LaMotte said the years away from the program have convinced him that he is ready to return and "continue to build on the tradition of excellence in the Payson High School wrestling program."