When a parent coaches their child in high school athletics, the goal is to pass down knowledge and passion for the sport. And sometimes that situation creates a future coach, wanting to carry on the family tradition. Find out more in this feature presented by Edward Medical Group.
“It’s one of those things where you know you never know what’s gonna happen when you have kids and you know what they’re gonna get into and things like that. So we’re able to spend a lot of time together and I wouldn’t change that for the world you know but it’s everything they do is special to me you know it’s a great opportunity.”
This winter, as Brad Caldwell enters his 23rd season with the Waubonsie Valley wrestling program, another Caldwell set his foot inside the coaching circle, as his son Tyler took the reins of the WV freshman wrestlers last spring. A former Warrior himself, Ty competed for three years on the varsity wrestling and football teams after transferring from Yorkville High School.
While Wrestling at the 285-pound weight class, Tyler qualified for the State meet during his junior season in 2014. On the gridiron, the Warriors made a Cinderella run to the 8A semi finals as a 30th seed during his senior year after the team entered the playoffs with only five wins. The Caldwell’s contributed on both sides of the ball with Ty as a key offensive lineman for a dangerous WV running attack while Brad coached the defensive front.
“I wouldn’t change the experience for anything you know but I wouldn’t say it was an easy thing I wouldn’t say it was terrible I don’t see you know was it was great opportunity it was special and something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life and it’s all you can do. I get to learn from or continue to learn from one of the biggest role models in my entire life and get to kinda pick a part his knowledge of things that was more than just the technique of the sport but more the behind-the-scenes things as well that I didn’t see while I was wrestling.”
The Caldwell’s aren’t the only local pair with the father-son coaching connection. Neuqua Valley Boys Basketball has the Sutton duo of Todd and his son Tyler coaching the Blue and Gold varsity team, while younger brother Drew coaches Neuqua’s sophomore squad. With the wrestling season underway, Tyler enters his second season coaching the Freshman grapplers and having his father as the program leader helps take his coaching acumen to another level.
“I got some freedoms, but I typically always run things by him because I wanna see if I’m on the right track and he’s told me a lot that it’s trial and error and you gotta learn to be with those younger guys and it helps your explanation abilities out as well. You gotta simplify a lot and go slower through things and he’s kinda let me figure that out on my own.”
Knowing the head coach and the Warrior program so well gives the younger Caldwell a connection to the experiences of his competitors, and he recognizes that taking the process day by day will help these young Warriors wrestle their way to success.
“First and foremost it’s just about developing the love for the sport for them and kinda helping them gain the abilities to participate we’ve got a lot of new faces in it this year and we’re excited about that.”
After spending two seasons with the North Central College Football team, Tyler attended Illinois State University to chase his degree in strength and conditioning. However, the former Warrior continues to finish his route by chasing a Physical Education Master’s Degree at Northern Illinois University. Then the young Caldwell found himself back on his old stomping grounds not long after. While he may be starting at the freshman level, having a Caldwell on each side since the spring season was pivotal for the Green and Gold.
“It was also great to have that season where he was just with us you know we were all at dual meets so we were always together all the coaches so he kinda pick up on the things that and how we did things in the process.”
Now that the wrestling season is back to a traditional winter routine, Waubonsie Valley has something to look forward for with its like father like son tradition.
For Naperville Sports Weekly, I’m Patrick Codo.
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