by Tommy Wells
Bethel Regional High School assistant wrestling coach Raymond “Thor” Williams received one of the nation’s top honors this past week when he was selected the recipient of the 2019 Scholastic Girls Assistant Coach of the Year award for Alaska.
Williams was among eight assistant coaches in the nation honored with the award.
“The Bethel wrestling family would like to thank Thor for all of his contributions and efforts he gives to our program,” said BWC head coach Darren Lieb. “(It is) a very well-deserved award.”
Williams helped coach the Bethel Regional High School and Bethel Wrestling Club to success this past season. The Warriors were the Class 3A state runners-up during the high school season.
Other assistant coaches earning recognition included Frank O’Shea of Manalapan High School in New Jersey, Ben Mount of Hiram High School in Georgia, Brad Warren of Rossview Hgh School in Tennessee, Matt Neely of Lebanon High School in Missouri, Fallyn Kapoi of Kamehameha Kapalama in Hawaii, Lynn Miller of Hood River Valley High School in Oregon and Tyson Lindeman of Kelso High School in Washington state.
Mt. Edgecumbe’s Mike Kimber was named the National Girls Coach of the Year, while Warren was tabbed the National Girls Assistant Coach of the Year. Both Kimber and Warren were selected as state coach of the year winners.
Kimber just completed his 19th season of coaching, each at Mt. Edgecumbe, his alma mater. Kimber’s 2018-19 squad finished as back-to-back state champions. Kimber was inducted into the Alaska Hall of Fame class of 2018 for his efforts in bringing high school girls wrestling to Alaska. In addition to the 2017 and 2018 state titles, Kimber’s squads have won five straight regional championships while garnering 38 state placers, 12 of whom won state titles.
“The NWCA is proud to launch the National Girls Coach of the Year program to recognize outstanding coaches who are going above and beyond to help grow girls’ wrestling across our country,” said Mike Moyer, NWCA Executive Director. “We now have 18 states sponsoring girls’ wrestling with many more having great discussions about implementation in their state.”