Grafton Wrestling Coach Retiring After More Than 20-Years - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Grafton Wrestling Coach Retiring After More Than 20-Years

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GRAFTON -

A wrestling powerhouse, Grafton High School, has a proud team, with a proud history, led by a proud coach.

Rod Auvil began his tenure as a Bearcat in 1991. This year he retires from the sport he loves.

"I just, just love it. Once it's in your blood it's always in your blood," said Auvil.

From a few feet away coach Auvil keeps a keen eye on his team.

For more than 20 year's he's devoted his career to sustaining Grafton as a West Virginia Powerhouse.

"Probably one of the most relaxed men I've ever met in my life. A kind man, a coach and a teacher," said Buddy McKeen (class of 1997) a former state champion for Auvil.

A West Virginian to the core, Auvil was raised in Clarksburg, graduated from Liberty High School, then Fairmont State and Salem International for his masters.

Former players described him as a fatherly figure. A man who understood there was life off the mat.

"He cares about us. Made sure our grades were good, that was first," said former wrestler Jedd Guthrie (Class of 2007.) "He just taught us a lot about life in a sense, discipline, never giving up, staying focused and trying to reach all of our goals."

For the last time on Saturday Auvil led the Bearcats at home. Before the match friends and family honored him for his dedication to Grafton. More than 50 former wrestlers were in attendance.

Retiring from coaching, and teaching in the middle school, coach's retirement priorities are in line.

"I have a pretty long honey-do list, there's things I have to do at home," said Auvil. "My grandma she's 96-years-old, and I want to spend time with her for what she has left. I just want to enjoy life while I'm healthy and so forth."

In his tenure Auvil coached girls' basketball, baseball, and volleyball, but building state champions in wrestling is what won his heart, and is something he knows will be hard to let go.

"I know I'll definitely miss this. It's been hard this year, not so much in the beginning, but now as it winds down in the year, you know, it's just tough, it's going to be tough," said Auvil.