With the addition of two highly successful coaches, the Bishop Lynch wrestling program certainly looks to be heading toward great things.
Bishop Lynch athletic director Andy Zilhman introduced the new coaches — head coach Tom Trautman and assistant coach Bryan Ashford — to the members of the wrestling team last week, where the two made it clear they came here to win.
“We will win,” Trautman said. “We will work hard and prove that our sport rewards effort. Our goal every year will be to win championships … both team and individual.”
Trautman — a graduate of Jesuit College Prepatory School of Dallas and Southern Methodist University — comes to BL with 25 years of experience with coaching wrestlers, including stints at Jesuit, Highland Park and with the Dallas Dynamite.
Ashford joins Trautman with 15 years of coaching — 11 as a head coach — under his belt, with stops at Woodrow Wilson, Austin Crockett, Rockwall and Episcopal School of Dallas. Ashford started programs at Wilson and ESD from the ground up.
“Our goal is to win championships,” Ashford said. “I came to Bishop Lynch because it’s a great school and community. I wanted the opportunity to help return the program to an elite level.”
During his coaching career, Ashford has coached 25 all-state wrestlers, six state champions and two All-Americans. His teams have won three district titles, two regional championships and a runner-up finish at state.
The two coaches take the reigns of a program that has seen eight national champions, 50 All-Americans and more than 100 state champions. However, the Friars’ last state team title was in 2010.
Trautman plans to go right to work adding numbers to the program, something he believes adds to a team’s success.
“My immediate goal is to increase the size of our team, because having quality depth is the difference when you are trying to win championships,” he said. “I’m very excited about this opportunity and fortunate to have Bryan Ashford on board with me.”
Trautman was the man in charge of Highland Park's feeder program which gave the high school program many talented wrestlers that went on to win state titles, but said the time is now for Bishop Lynch to regain past glory, something he wants to be a part of.
“I’ve been watching the program for years,” he said. “With the team we have now, I felt the time was right for me to get involved and help bring a state championship back where it belongs.”