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Wednesday, May 06, 2015

No Holds Barred: Coach George Hero on MidwoodMania VI and His Retirement 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with Coach George Hero, the legendary coach and founder of the Midwood High School wrestling team in Brooklyn, New York.

On Friday, May 8, Midwood High School will be the scene of this year's edition of what has now become an annual tradition, MidwoodMania VI: Monsters on the Mat.

The event runs from 3:30pm to 6:30pm, at the Campus Road Gymnasium of Midwood High School, 2839 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn, New York 11210, right across the street from Brooklyn College.

There will be ten wrestling matches featuring alumni, wrestlers, and coaches from Midwood High School and other schools and colleges, competing in American folkstyle, freestyle, and Greco-Roman wrestling.

Among the innovative matches at MidwoodMania will be folkstyle tag team matches. Coach Hero, now 57, will be teaming with Midwood alumnus Jake Pawlowski against a team of NYU wrestlers, Jon Guarino and Jay Jazikoff.

But this will be a very special MidwoodMania, as Coach Hero, after 32 years of teaching and serving as the Director of Social Science Research since 1984, has announced that he will be retiring as a teacher at the end of this school year.

We spoke with Coach Hero by phone Tuesday.

"It's hard to believe this is number six already. We started this back in 2010, and it's been an annual event ever since," he said.

"It's going to be once again alumni, the older guys, including myself, wrestling. But again, it's kind of bittersweet, because this is my last year. I'll be retiring. I'll probably still be wrestling in one form or another. But this is my last year at Midwood. 32 years has been quite a long run. And it's always hard when you're sort of bowing out and other people are taking over."

While Coach Hero will be retiring from teaching, and possibly from coaching as well, he has plans which will keep him quite busy. He intends to travel, to do research and write more books, and also to be involved in wrestling. One of his ideas is to expand the concept of MidwoodMania beyond Midwood High and establish a league for recreational wrestlers who have already finished their high school and college careers.

We also discussed more on why he is retiring now, the need for a real pro wrestling league, the importance of marketing and exposure to build the popularity of wrestling, the depiction of wrestling in film and the media, and much, much more.

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