Oberlin taking over Homestead program
By DANE FUELLING
There will be a new coach in the chair for Homestead High School come November, as the Southwest Allen County school named Andy Oberlin the next head coach of the wrestling team.
“I am extremely excited to be running the program,” said Oberlin in an interview Monday with the DDD. “As with most wrestlers, I like to be in control and have opinions on how things should be done and now I will get a chance to see if they will work.”
Oberlin takes over the Spartan program from former Snider wrestler Nathan Devaux, and heads a program that he has been coaching in some capacity since 2014. Oberlin says that for the first time in his personal life, he finally has time to balance his family, work and a head coaching job.
Devaux will continue with the program as an assistant, as well as Brent Stockman, who wrestled at Toledo University. Other assistants for 2020-21 will be Josh Michaels (Columbia City), Rick Greenwood (Elmhurst) and Mason Gaines (Fishers).
The new coach is a graduate of DeKalb High School, where he graduated in 1994.
“I had the pleasure of wrestling TIm Myers six times my sophomore and junior year,” Oberlin chuckled. Of the six losses he had his sophomore and junior year, four of them came from Myers. He was eliminated from the state tournament both years by Myers in the ticket round.
Oberlin’s Bellmont connection continued his senior year, where he handed Jason Hayes his only two losses of the year prior to his appearance in the state championship bout in 1994. The Baron wrestler finished fourth that year at 119.
His wrestling career continued at North Central College, a D3 school. A decade after leaving North Central, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Purdue University.
Oberlin began his coaching career in 1997 as an assistant for the well-travelled Rod Williams at Norwell. He returned to Dekalb a few years after that and coached under Tom Blackburn and later Jason Hunter.
“I truly love coaching kids because of what this sport did for me and what I see it do for athletes. There is a bond between a wrestling coach and an athlete that I personally don’t see in other sports. You are truly going into battle with them and that solidifies that bond. Personally, there is nothing better than watching a child start wrestling as a youth and then see that athlete wrestle his senior year.”
A full program, not just at the high school level, but all the way through the youth program, is Oberlin’s ultimate goal at one of the largest high schools in northeast Indiana.
“Over the last six years, we have taken a club of about 10 to 20 kids to a little more than 100 last year. Our middle school programs are starting to develop and grow.”
Over 70 kids competed on the district’s two middle school programs this season and the success of the program was higher than in recent memory.
When asked for goals for his tenure, Oberlin looked at the bigger picture.
“We, as a community, have to work to raise the level of wrestling in our area. I want Homestead to be a part of lifting this semi-state back up.”
A berth at Team State and a few state medals were just some of the big goals he has for the program. Oberlin noted that he worked with other coaches on a ten year plan when he came to the program and feels that with three years left, Homestead is still on pace to accomplish many of the original standards he set in 2014.
Oberlin admitted that competing with Bellmont is a goal of his.
“We have a pretty strong Thanksgiving Duals and I will make sure that Bellmont has a standing invitation to that.”
An invitation to compete at the prestigious Al Smith tournament at Mishawaka over the holidays is something that Oberlin feels his program can earn in the coming years.
Oberlin and his wife and three children reside in the SACS district.