BERLIN- After building a budding dynasty for the last dozen years or so, Stephen Decatur wrestling coach Kevin Gilligan last week announced he was resigning from the Berlin school to take a teaching job at a public high school in Calvert County.
Gilligan took a fledgling wrestling program of just a handful of kids 12 years ago and created an Eastern Shore and regional powerhouse. Under his watchful eye, the Seahawks have won eight straight Bayside Conference championships, finished at or near the top at the state championships for several years including a 2008 state title, collected several individual state titles and have become a force to reckon with throughout the mid-Atlantic region.
Not only has the Seahawk wrestling program thrived at the varsity level for several years, but Gilligan and his talented and dedicated coaching staff laid the groundwork for a bright future at the Berlin school with a youth program that includes hundreds of young athletes. The future of the Decatur program looks bright indeed, but it will be future without its leader for the last 12 years.
Gilligan announced this week he is leaving Decatur to take a teaching job at Huntingtown High School in Calvert County. He is making the move in order to be closer to his two young children.
“It’s been a very tough decision, but I have to be near my children,” he said. “It’s tough to leave Decatur and the school and the athletic program I love so much, but I have to do what’s best for my family. Stephen Decatur and Worcester County has been absolutely wonderful for me and it’s tough to leave.”
Gilligan, who has also served for years as the defensive coordinator for the Seahawk varsity football team, leaves behind a rich legacy at Decatur, including the impressive eight straight Bayside Conference titles.
“That’s a run that is going to continue,” he said this week. “This program is stocked with young wrestlers and there is a lot of talent in that room. We have a lot of great coaches and an administration that is committed to athletics and academics, so the future looks bright. I don’t expect them to miss a beat without me around.”
Gilligan, a math teacher at Decatur, has accepted a similar position at Huntingtown, although it’s uncertain what if any role he’ll take in the school’s athletic program. The fiercely competitive coach hopes to continue in high school athletics in some capacity at his new placement.
“The passion’s still there,” he said. “I’d love to continue coaching if the opportunity presents itself. I’m just not sure right now what that opportunity might be.”