Miluk was tailor made to lead West Virginia Duals

Brad Davis/The Register-HeraldGreenbrier East head wrestling coach Brian Miluk points to friends and family in the stands after being presented the 2018-19 National Federation Coaches Association of the Year Award for outstanding service and unselfish devotion to interscholastic activities prior to the night session at the 73rd annual state wrestling tournament Feb. 28 in Huntington.

Before Brian Miluk began coaching at Greenbrier East, he was an assistant at St. Edward High School and Padua Franciscan High School in the state of Ohio. He began coaching at Greenbrier East in 2004 and retired after the 2020 season.

He accomplished lots of goals during his coaching career and has been recognized quite often.

It was at St. Edward that he assisted Howard Ferguson, who guided the Lakewood, Ohio, team to numerous state championships and won at least six national titles during the 1970s and 1980s. Ferguson also published an inspirational book during that time called “The Edge”.

Miluk was a contributor to this wrestling bestseller. In the book, Ferguson describes Miluk: “He can teach and is always totally happy. If he ever retires from coaching, he can become a comedian. Make no mistake about it, the little guy who makes us laugh, can coach.”

Admittedly, Brian does emit a young Ryan O’Neal/Richard Dreyfuss/Gene Wilder type of persona which might be the perfect characteristic for the director of the West Virginia State High School Duals Tournament. The idea had been tossed around for years, but it was Brian Miluk who made it happen.

Last year, The Greenbrier resort was the host for the inaugural event. It was a phenomenal affair, with Parkersburg (Class AAA) and Point Pleasant (AA-A) winning the first team titles. After the competition in February of 2020, plans were in place to make it even better for 2021.

Enter the coronavirus pandemic.

The immediate problem was securing The Greenbrier because nobody could guarantee anything with the Covid restrictions. Brian decided to move the 2021 tourney to the State Fairgrounds and make the tournament a two-day affair instead of one. Unfortunately, the winter sports seasons were delayed twice by the governor, trying to get a hold (pardon the wrestling pun) on this dreaded virus.

By this time, many would have pushed for total cancellation, but not Brian Miluk. The duals tournament will take place March 19-20 and FloWrestling will do a streamline broadcast both days.

FloWrestling is part of the leading sports streaming company in the world. They are the most recognized expert of yearround sports broadcasting. Of course, the attendance of the tournament will fall under the guidelines of the West Virginia Secondary School Activites Commission. However, anybody with a computer who desires to watch can have that opportunity. Plus, our state wrestlers will get exposure to an international audience. This is super!

Qualifying teams will be decided in the next two weeks.

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This week a squeeze of the water bottle goes to Frank Lusher, new coach at Eastern Greenbrier Middle School and a huge wrestling fan.

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