Wrestling has been a way of life for Chad Davis for years, so it seemed inevitable that one day he would take over the program at his alma mater.

Wrestling has been a way of life for Chad Davis for years, so it seemed inevitable that one day he would take over the program at his alma mater.

Davis, a 2006 graduate of Grandview Heights High School, was selected in May to replace his mentor, Andy DiSabato, who led the wrestling program for 25 years.

"Coach DiSabato showed me how much work it is and how disciplined that you had to be in preparation," said Davis, who was an assistant for DiSabato last season. "Over time, our relationship changed from coach to peer, which was great.

"I think I also learned how to develop a relationship with the kids to where I was a peer and friend, but also an authority figure. We could be friendly and joke around, but they respected me as a coach."

DiSabato had hoped Davis would be his replacement.

"Chad was a great wrestler for us and was a first-year assistant last year for us," DiSabato said. "I thought he would do a good job for us and tried to teach him everything he would need to know last season. I think we will do a great job."

Davis won the 215-pound state title in Division III as a senior. He currently is a sixth-grade teacher at Edison Intermediate Middle School (EIMS) in Grandview. He also played football for four seasons at Capital University.

"We are looking forward to the start of the Chad Davis era of wrestling," athletics director Kathy Kinnard said. "Chad is an alum of GHHS and was a state champion wrestler here. He is an intervention specialist at EIMS and he is knowledgeable in the sport of wrestling, enthusiastic in his dealings with young people, a good communicator and is eager to get started.

"I liked what I saw last year when he was our assistant varsity coach. I know he will take the good things that he experienced as an athlete with his coaches and combine them with his style and lead our young people in the sport of wrestling."

Davis believes the success at the high school level comes from a strong youth program.

"When I was a freshman (in 2002-03) we had about 35 guys in the wrestling room and that all started with the elementary program from the third and fourth grades on up," he said. "When we have had good teams in the past at Grandview, it all started with the novice program."

Davis expects that his former teammate, Nathan Ells, will return as an assistant coach. Ells coached the middle school team last year.

Expected to return for the Bobcats are senior David Kuruvilla (112 pounds), juniors C.J. Flowers (189) and Matt Kientz (189) and sophomores Sam Callison (160), Cody Hofmaster (171), Owen Hopper (130), David Lindemann (119), A.J. Pinyerd (heavyweight) and Anthony Sagstetter (152).

Kuruvilla, Lindemann, Sagstetter and Kientz all finished second in the MSL-Cardinal Division duals. The Bobcats finished third (2-2) in the league meet behind West Jefferson (4-0 in duals) and host Licking Heights (3-1) and ahead of Liberty Union (1-3) and Harvest Prep (0-4). Grandview beat Liberty Union (47-36) and Harvest Prep (40-24) and lost to West Jefferson (66-9) and Licking Heights (34-30).

"I think there is lot of talent in the high school right now, but we need guys to ask their friends and get them out for the team," Davis said. "I'd like to continue a program that bases itself off of making boys into men and preparing them for life after wrestling.

"I want to pass on what I learned from the program, and that was a strong work ethic and goal-setting. Those are key things that kids need to learn these days. You can take goal-setting from wrestling and use that the rest of your life. The lessons you learn in wrestling will stay with you the rest of your life."