Brett Shaut recently stepped down as coach of the Worthington Kilbourne High School wrestling team.

“I’m officially retiring,” said Shaut, who works at Huntington Bank and guided the program for seven years. “I’ve been debating this for a couple of years now, but there’s never a good time because I love the kids and the program.

“But we lost five seniors and most of the boys coming back are sophomores this year, so I just felt this was the best time. I think I left the program in good shape where the new coach will have an easy transition.”

Athletics director Jeff Todd said there is no timetable to hire a new coach.

“We’ve posted the opening and the first applications are just coming in now,” he said. “We want to work quickly, yet be diligent. Brett did a nice job for us and we want someone who can continue the growth. The kids, parents and staff all appreciate and recognize what Brett was able to do. He had a healthy coaching career for us.”

When Shaut took over, he became the fifth coach of the program in six seasons. One of the improvements made during the past seven seasons was getting the middle school and youth programs on the same page.

“When I took over the youth program was Worthington-wide and run by Thomas,” Shaut said. “We started our own youth program and moved the middle school practices and youth practices to Kilbourne so that all the coaches would be on the same page.

“Next year will be the year that the first kids in our youth program will compete at the high school level as freshmen. I think the continuity has been a blessing. My only hope is that we can get someone on the staff in any capacity who is in the school building during the day. That’s the one thing we don’t have now and it hurts with recruitment and encouragement.”

bemerine@thisweeknews.com

@Brad_ThisWeek