Mark Guthrie didn’t last long as Payson’s head wrestling coach.

Guthrie, who was hired to take over for Bryan Burke earlier this year, resigned in mid-October before the start of the season because of health reasons.

“I love coaching, and it was a super tough decision, but I have to take care of myself,” Guthrie said.

Guthrie is an English teacher at Payson High. He was an assistant wrestling coach at Payson last year.

Tim McCloskey was hired to replace Guthrie. Counting Guthrie, he’s the fifth head coach in the last five seasons. Burke is the only coach to coach at least two seasons since Zach Lee coached the Longhorns for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 campaigns. Former longtime assistant coach Don Heizer took over for the 2015-16 season and Burke coached the team from 2016-17 through 2017-18 before stepping down to focus on his role as head football coach.

The program has had nine head coaches in the 18 seasons since Dennis Pirch retired following the 2000-01 season. Pirch coached the first 28 years of the program’s existence, guiding the Longhorns to 10 team state championships, five runner-up finishes and 23 division/region titles.

The Longhorns opened the season with matches at Prescott on Wednesday and were scheduled to continue in the Camp Verde Duals on Friday, Nov. 30 and Saturday, Dec. 1.

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