Years: 15 at Clovis, 29 overall
Chosen because: Tirapelle’s Cougars added to their record with a 10th CIF State Wrestling Championship — and second straight — while producing the highest points total in the event’s 40-year history. All 13 qualifiers contributed points toward Clovis’ 256.5 total, shattering Bakersfield’s 2002 record of 226.5. Tirapelle and staff — Adam Tirapelle, Ben Holscher, Pete Samhammer, Clint Walbeck, Eric LeGarreta, Scott Moore, Eddie Castillo, Nara Sihavong, Kenny Martinez and Josh Esparza — coached two state champions in Daniel Gaytan (120) and Zach Nevills (170), two runner-ups in Jonas Gaytan (113) and Dakota Gordon (195) and a state record-setting 10 medalists overall.
Sensational season: Clovis finished with a No. 5 national ranking during a season that saw it win titles at 10 tournament — Newbury Park, Clovis West Shootout, Zinkin Classic, Doc Buchanan, Temecula Valley, Mission San Jose, Tri-River Athletic Conference, Yosemite Divisionals, Masters and state. The only tournament the Cougars went to that they didn’t win was the Clash in Rochester Center, Minn., where they placed third behind nationally No. 2-ranked St. Edward-Ohio and No. 3 Apple Valley-Minn.
Career achievements: Tirapelle has coached 75 state medalists and 17 state champions, 72 of those place-winners and 16 champs coming at Clovis High. His teams have won nine Masters titles and finished among the top five at state 12 times.
The future: The 60-year-old Tirapelle said he only plans to teach another year or two before retiring from the classroom. But he has no plans of stepping away from the wrestling room any time soon. “I think I have the knowledge to help kids achieve their goals and compete at the next level. As long as that’s in a positive light, I’ll continue to do it. When I feel like it’s a burden, then that’s when I’ll get out.”
He said it: “We just had nice kids, kids that were fun to be around. Kids you like going places with. Kids you aren’t worried about doing something they weren’t supposed to. They were great competitors. It’s rewarding when the kids step up and do the right things and give themselves the opportunity to do the things they are capable of doing.” — Tirapelle
Also considered: Clovis West’s Ian Shaw, who guided the Golden Eagles to an eighth-place finish at state in his first season as head coach, highlighted by Nikko Reyes winning the 182-pound title and Chris Garcia placing eighth at 138.