Tim McCarthy, the elder statesman of wrestling coaches in Northern Nevada, has stepped down as Carson High School’s head coach.
McCarthy’s Senators have won the past five Sierra League dual-meet championships, and his team was 25-0 in league matches in that span. In his career, he compiled a 188-57 dual-meet record over 14 years and won a regional championship in 2012.
“It got to a point where I was too tired, basically,” McCarthy said in his office Thursday morning. “It wasn’t the new job I’m basically doing the same thing, it’s just that the money is coming from a grant instead of the general fund.
“I thought it was time. I think Paul Carter is ready to be a head coach. I think the timing is really good. I plan to be an assistant next year to help with the transition.”
Bob Bateman, Carson athletic director, said the process of hiring a new coach is just beginning. He praised McCarthy’s work.
“Tim did a wonderful job,” Bateman said. “He really elevated the program to where it used to be. The important thing is that he got a lot of kids involved.”
McCarthy won’t be invisible in retirement. He plans to run the Cap City Tournament and the annual JV tournament at Carson, and to help out with junior wrestling events.
McCarthy leaves a good nucleus for the next head coach. Nicholas Lani, Kyle Sharp, Sam Mercado, Brady Rivera and Dom Kinder all reached the postseason this year. Sharp placed third at state, and Rivera was fourth.
“I think the team will be pretty good,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy said the highlight of his coaching career came in 2012, when the Senators not only won their fourth straight Sierra League title but won the regional tournament, held at Morse Burley Gym.
“Carson hadn’t hosted a regional in more than 20 years, and to win the tournament in our own gym, and to do it in dramatic fashion like we did, was great,” McCarthy said.
But more important is seeing his former wrestlers move on in their lives. One of his proteges was John Terry, who wrestled in the late 1990s at Carson.
“John went on to wrestle at Boise State,” McCarthy said. “He had a couple of tours in the Peace Corps, and now he’s an attorney. He has done so much and grown so much.
“It’s nice to see former student-athletes move on and see how everything plays out for them later in life.”
Asked about the best wrestler he’s coached, McCarthy didn’t hesitate long.
“Justin Sarnowski and Doug Brooks,” he said. “They both won state titles in 2001. They were close in weight, and they were animals in the workout room. Every day was a war. That’s what made them so tough going up against each other all the time.”
McCarthy said he’ll always have fond memories of his other state champs, Nick Schlager and Nico Garcia. Schlager is wrestling at Oregon State.