Coach's Corner - John Furgeson, Damascus Wrestling

This summer, CSZ will be doing a segment on the WICKipedia entitled "Coach's Corner". In this feature, we'll be conducting Q&A's with various coaches from around Maryland to learn more about their coaching processes, and why they love coaching.

Today we're featuring John Furgeson, who coaches wrestling at Damascus High School in Montgomery County! Coach Furgeson spoke with us about a variety of topics, including what it has been like to coach his sons at Damascus!

John Furgeson CC Pic

County Sports Zone:How did you get your start with coaching?

John Furgeson:While I was in college, I would come back and help my high school football and wrestling teams during breaks and summer. When I graduated from college, I interviewed with the football coaches at Poolesville High School. They opened a huge door for me to coach and I have coached many sports.

CSZ:Why do you coach? What about it do you enjoy?

JF:I coach because I get to stay involved with the sports I love and try to make a positive impact on their lives. I enjoy developing the relationships with the kids and coaches. I love to see the kids become successful in whatever they do, whether it be making a catch in a game or winning the state title in wrestling. Whatever it is, it is great to see them find their success and gain confidence in anything they do. Sometimes the little successes make the biggest difference in a kid's life.

CSZ:Specifically Damascus- why do you enjoy coaching there?

JF:I have truly been blessed to be coaching at Damascus. It is an incredible experience and I, fortunately, have been part of very successful teams.

I enjoy coaching there because of the relationships I have made along the way. It is a special place to coach because many of the athletes come through the youth league programs which is a huge reason for the successes in many of our high school program. It's unique for today's standards because of the small town feel. Almost all of the kids growing up in the town play for the youth program and dream of one day being at the high school competing for the Swarmin' Hornets.

CSZ:What're some characteristics of teams that are coached by you? What do you try to instill in your wrestlers?

JF:I think we try to instill the desire to be great by doing your best. We want to guide them to not be afraid to be great by doing the best you can and trying new things. We hope we instill determination of hard work pays off. We ask the boys to be committed to doing their best and they have shown us what that looks like so many times.

CSZ:The streak of dual meets won by Damascus wrestling is a truly remarkable feat. How do you, as a coach, approach the streak with your wrestlers? Is it something that's regularly discussed, or is there no focus on it?

JF:There isn't a real focus on it. We just try to get the kids prepared to wrestle their best and we ask our leaders to lead by example. We don't focus on it, but we focus on keeping our kids improving their skills and help the team by striving for excellence.

CSZ:You've had the amazing opportunity to coach your sons on the wrestling mat. What has that experience been like? Have you found the coach-wrestler, father-son balance easy to maintain?

JF:Yes, it has been a blessing to coach my kids. I have had the unique opportunity to do that with the job that I have chosen. As a father/coach, I have been able to spend a lot of time with my boys and have seen them grow spiritually, academically, and athletically.

I wish a lot of parents had the chance to get involved with their kids as much as I have. I'm sure there have been bumps in the road, but I think we have had a great time and moments that we have shared together. Being with your kids, you understand them a little better because you know in more detail what they are going through. So trying to find the right time to motivate or console might be a little easier because I know them a lot better than most athletes.

We are not perfect, we have had some hard conversations, but we have also had some great times celebrating their accomplishments. I pray they continue to know that I love them. I will always value that time I have spent with them.

CSZ:It's a ways off, but looking ahead, what are your goals and expectations for Damascus wrestling next season?

JF:We are going to coach them as if it is another championship season. We graduated a tremendous class and we are looking for the boys to step up. It's their turn to strive for greatness.

Some of the boys are working really hard this off-season. They've watched many of the boys before them strive for excellence for many years. Now it's their turn. We're excited about the upcoming season and I look forward to coaching them.

July 19th, 2018By: Wick Eisenberg

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