Brian Brison, who helped the Groveport Madison wrestling team become one of the OCC-Capital Division’s top programs during his tenure, resigned May 4 after four seasons as coach.

“It was a difficult decision. I’ve created a lot of good relationships within the school, community and the program, but I’ve coached wrestling for a long time,” Brison said. “I’ve coached for 18 straight years and wrestled for 10 years before that. I have 5- and 7-year-old sons and I want to get to enjoy their childhoods and be around as they start to do different things.”

Groveport was 18-2 in OCC-Capital duals under Brison, winning league championships in 2018 and 2019. This past season, the Cruisers went 4-1 in the league to finish second behind Big Walnut (5-0).

Junior Jake Nelson became the program’s first Division I state qualifier in six years this past season, going 45-3 at 220 pounds and finishing second at both sectional and district.

Brison previously coached at Amanda-Clearcreek for 12 seasons, the last nine as head coach, during which time the Aces had 24 state qualifiers and won two MSL-Buckeye championships.

He spent two years as a junior high coach at Logan Elm before coming to Groveport.

Brison wrestled at Thornville Sheridan from 1994-98 and then competed for four years at Muskingum College.

In addition to Nelson, one of the Cruisers’ other three district qualifiers from this past season is eligible to return next winter in freshman Derrick Sells (182).

Other expected returnees include junior Dylan Blackburn (138), sophomores Jacob Chilcote (132), Cohen Hartner (120), Jacob Johnston (145), Cameron Leitwein (160), Jordan Ramella (heavyweight) and Ryan Schieser (152) and freshman Tyler Brown (113).

“This job has been rewarding, but I didn’t feel like I would be doing the kids justice if I went into next season feeling like I do now,” Brison said. “That said, I think this team is in position to do a lot of good things next season. A lot of good wrestlers are returning. It’s hard to walk away, but I think it’s time to step away.”

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave