IOWA CITY — Mark Reiland made plenty of memories as Iowa City West’s wrestling coach.
Take the response to his speech before his first state tournament at West. He told the team he bought a new suit for the finals and he had better be able to use it. Reiland recalled a confident Ashten Richardson responding, “I’m there for you coach” and winning the 171-pound title in 2000.
Then, there was Dylan Carew’s first of two state titles that clinched the first team title in 2006. He also coached Nick Moore to his fourth state title in 2010. He even has a team poster on his wall from the 2011 team that won the State Duals title and tackled him on the mat. Those are just the tip of the iceberg for Reiland.
“You can go back and think of some special moments each year to year,” Reiland said in a phone interview Monday afternoon with The Gazette. “There’s a number of moments. It doesn’t have to be titles and some of that stuff. It’s about creating those bonds.”
After 19 years of making memories, Reiland resigned as Trojans head wrestling coach Monday. He took over the program in 1999 and led West to a seventh-place finish, guiding seniors Nelson Brands and Francis Duggan to individual titles in February.
“It was not easy,” said Reiland, a 2016 Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame inductee. “It was harder to do (Monday) than I thought.
“I don’t feel I have the same amount of time that I have always had. I don’t want to short change my kids. I only know one way to do it. That’s full-bore.”
Reiland said he’s enjoyed coaching and enjoyed the kids. He admitted he didn’t know if he liked all the extra administrative duties that accompany the post. Reiland was moved by the response from former athletes when he informed them of his decision.
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“It’s more than wins and losses to me,” said Reiland, who will continue to work with Iowa USA Wrestling. “When you look back at it, it’s nice to see you’ve had an impact.”
Reiland took over a West program that hadn’t even won a conference title, nevertheless a state crown. Only a handful of Trojans had won state gold before his tenure as well.
The former University of Iowa NCAA champion and two-time Eagle Grove state titlist built West into a Mississippi Valley Conference and state power.
West won seven total state titles, including traditional championships in 2006 and 2007 and duals crowns in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2011. West also won 10 MVC Super Meet championships, including nine straight from 2004-12. Seven of the nine four-time conference titlists were coached for at least two years by Reiland.
Reiland owns a 436-108-1 career dual mark, coaching for a couple seasons at Solon before moving to West. He opened the season ninth all-time in wins and eighth in winning percentage.
“We were fortunate,” Reiland said. “We had a really good run of kids.”
He guided 16 wrestlers to 26 state titles, including Moore, the state’s 19th four-timer (2007-10) and four-time state finalist and two-time champ Nate Moore. Derek St. John won two titles for Reiland at West and went on to win a 2013 NCAA title and four All-American honors at Iowa.
“I want to thank Coach Reiland for his service to our students at West," Iowa City West athletics director Craig Huegel said in a news release. "While the results are certainly impressive, Coach Reiland has had an immeasurable positive impact on the lives of those student-athletes fortunate enough to have wrestled for him and for Iowa City West."
The search for a replacement will begin immediately.
“We will go to work very soon to hire a quality successor to lead our wrestling program,” Huegel said in the news release.
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