Wrestling: Brendan Moody steps down after 12 seasons leading Hilliard Darby Panthers

Scott Hennen
ThisWeek group
Hilliard Darby wrestling coach Brendan Moody watches a match in December 2019. Moody told his team April 20 that he was stepping down after 12 seasons.

Brendan Moody was taking his decision to leave the Hilliard Darby wrestling program well until he had to tell his athletes.

After one season as an assistant coach and the last 12 leading the program, Moody told his team April 20 that he was stepping down because his work duties made it nearly impossible for him to devote the time the athletes deserved.

“It definitely feels like a new chapter,” said Moody, who also was an assistant at Stow-Munroe Falls for three seasons. “I talked to John Riggs, my former head (wrestling) coach at Darby and now the head coach at Bradley, and my dad (longtime wrestling official and Bradley softball coach Kevin Moody) about my decision April 16. I was OK with that.

“I told (Darby athletics director) Mr. (Chris) Ludban on (April 19) and then had a Zoom call with the guys on the team on (April 20). That’s when it hit me. It was tough telling them.”

Ludban said Moody helped build one of the area’s top programs.

“Coach Moody has been the foundation of our wrestling program for the past 12 years,” Ludban said. “Brendan’s leadership, his passion for students and his grit for the Hilliard Darby wrestling program are going to be missed.”

Moody is an account manager with Gillmann Services, a construction staffing company. He said it has become increasingly difficult to juggle work duties, time with family and leading the wrestling program.

“I have been thinking about this for a couple of years,” said Moody, a 2002 Darby graduate who wrestled at Kent State. “I was searching for every single way with my work schedule and family life, but I couldn’t find a way to coach the team the way it deserves.

“This past year we had to have workouts in six separate pods and then (Darby was) the host for the (Division I) district and state tournaments. (The) COVID(-19 coronavirus pandemic) actually gave me a little flexibility at work, but I’m not sure I’ll have that going ahead. If I can’t give 100 percent (to coaching), it’s not fair to the kids.”

Moody said his top assistant for 12 seasons, Matt Burgei, will handle offseason training until a replacement is hired. 

Darby had its first state champion this winter, with senior Bradley Weaver capturing the Division I heavyweight title.

“While we are sad to see coach Moody leave, we are excited for what the future holds for the wrestling program,” Ludban said.

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