Ormand Says Goodbye To Wrestling Program

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Although Rich Ormand has stepped down as Payson High School's wrestling coach, he will remain long enough to tie up loose ends in the program.

In his resignation letter, Ormand wrote, "My last official act as coach will be to accompany our seniors to senior nationals (tournament) at the National Coaches Convention March 23 through 27 in Pittsburgh."

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Coach Rich Ormand has stepped down as head coach of the Payson High School wrestling program after three years at the helm.

Ormand also said he would host a season-ending potluck dinner and awards ceremony at 6 p.m. April 3 in the high school cafeteria.

As head coach the past three years, Ormand led the Longhorns to two Grand Canyon region championships, an East region title, a Class 3A state runner-up showing and two fourth-place finishes in the 4A state tournament.

He also coached 17 wrestlers who became state placers, five of whom were individual weight class champions, and was a two-time coach of the year in the Grand Canyon region.

The former coach gave the upcoming birth of his third child as his reason for stepping down.

"This will put us in the demanding responsibility of having three children under the age of 4 in our home," he said.

In leaving, he thanked the school administration for the opportunity to coach and for their support.

"I have been honored to be the head coach the past three seasons," he said. "My decision has nothing to do with the school or administration itself."

PHS athletic director Dave Bradley praised Ormand -- only the third coach in PHS wrestling history -- for maintaining the integrity of the program instilled under team founder Dennis Pirch and his successor Dave LaMotte.

"As a young coach he did a great job keeping it (the program) at a high level," he said. "He and his involvement with all student athletes will be missed."

Although Ormand was known to have been under fire from some disgruntled parents, he lauded those who backed him.

"I want to thank the parents that have been supportive and positive," he said.

The former coach also offered to support the new program.

"I will be willing to help out in any way I can, including working tables at home competitions and officiating home JV matches," he said.

Ormand also said the team would not make the traditional trip to the Rocky Mountain Nationals tournament this spring, but he was hopeful "the new coach can put together a summer program to get kids to a camp or other high level opportunities."

Ormand left the door open for his return to coaching.

"I pray that I may in the future put all that I have learned to good use if I am ever a head coach again," he said.

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