Cutter Garrison was recently selected to replace Ted Schanen as the Bruins’ head wrestling coach after three years of coaching at Holyoke.
“I’m from here and I’m back home. Feels great to be back here,” said Garrison, a former wrestler and 2007 graduate of Montrose High School.
Schanen recommended Garrison for the job, which includes heading the CHS physical education department.
Garrison arrived in Cedaredge two weeks ago and had just four hours of mat time with his team ahead of last weekend’s Paonia Summer Duals wrestling camp.
“I haven’t met everybody, but I’m adjusting well,” said Garrison, who was missing a few returning state qualifiers and brought “a lot of freshmen and sophomores” to camp. “We’re going through a transition phase, and that phase will be over soon.”
Garrison wrestled four years at Montrose and three years at Western State in Gunnison, where he graduated in 2012 with a degree in exercise sports science. Garrison spent three years as a Holyoke Dragon, including two years as a student teacher and assistant wrestling and football coach. He took over the wrestling program last year from his dad, Jack Garrison, a 1977 graduate and state champion wrestler from Montrose. Jack Garrison coached wrestling at Montrose for seven seasons before moving to Holyoke in 2009.
Schanen, who was head coach for five seasons, left a strong wrestling program in place, said Garrison. He also helped rebuild the middle school wrestling program, now led by former CHS coach, Kent Salyer, who coached Garrison throughout his four years at Montrose.
The Bruins will drop from Class 3A to 2A beginning next winter. Last year they had a 13-1 dual record, were the Region 1 runners-up, and qualified 11 wrestlers for state. About half the squad, including seniors Wyatt Toothaker and Tim Montano and junior Austin Todd, attended the duals. Todd, whom Garrison referred to as “a junior and a team leader,” is a two-time state qualifier who placed fifth at 120 pounds last season.
“I think he’s going to be really good for us,” said Todd of Garrison. “He’s really calm. Seems to get along with everyone really well.”
Garrison will also join the football program as an assistant coach. “Cedaredge is up and coming,” said Garrison, citing several factors, including the Bruins’ 2012 state football title and an upgrade in the school’s sports and exercise facilities, which includes a new weight room, installed in honor of Reid Gates, a stellar student-athlete who died last fall at the start of his senior year. “I’m excited and very honored to be there,” said Garrison.