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Windsor wrestling coach Monte Trusty retiring after 16 seasons, 4 state titles

Longtime Windsor wrestling coach Monte Trusty has announced he is stepping down from leading the program.
Longtime Windsor wrestling coach Monte Trusty has announced he is stepping down from leading the program.

A Northern Colorado coaching great is hanging it up after nearly two decades.

Monte Trusty announced his retirement after 16 seasons as Windsor High School's wrestling coach, school officials confirmed this week.

In a social media post announcing the decision on Facebook, Trusty said:

"Simply, the fire isn't roaring to the level the athletes deserve. This was one of the more difficult decisions I've ever had to make. My heart bleeds for the current guys and their families, there's never an easy time to leave."

"We have been so fortunate here at Windsor to have a leader like Monte," athletic director Eric Johnson said. "We wish him all the best and he will be missed."

Trusty leaves a massive legacy after a dominant run on the mat.

Windsor won four Class 4A state championships from 2011 to 2020, culminating with the 2020 title team that featured two four-time state champions in Isaiah Salazar and Dominick Serrano.

Under Trusty, the Wizards had 24 individual state champions, 89 state placers, 12 top-five team finishes, and 11 regional and league titles.

In the 40 years before he took over, the program's highest state finish was eighth and the school had 18 state placers.

"To say they are big shoes to fill is the understatement of forever," Johnson said. "The reputation he created for this program did our school proud."

Windsor is coming off a third-place 4A finish after taking runner-up honors in 2023. The Wizards had five podium finishers, led by James Pantoja in second and Evan Perez/Noah Garcia-Salazar in third place.

"I'd like to thank all the current and past wrestlers, families, and coaches that have had a huge impact on the program and the school administration for putting up with me all the years," Trusty said in his post.

Trusty himself is a former wrestler and a great one. He won the University of Mary's (Bismarck, N.D.) first-ever wrestling national championship as a two-time NAIA All-American and is in the school's Hall of Fame.

He competed there for his father, Milo, a North Dakota coaching great and Hall of Famer who has since served as an assistant on Monte's Windsor staff for the past 12 years.

Windsor assistant wrestling coach Milo Trusty, left, and son head coach Monte Trusty have helped turn the Wizards into a state wrestling powerhouse.
Windsor assistant wrestling coach Milo Trusty, left, and son head coach Monte Trusty have helped turn the Wizards into a state wrestling powerhouse.

This was a true family affair, as Monte also coached sons Gage and Jake in the Wizards' wrestling program during the late 2010s and early 2020s.

"Monte was always about family and that included our program," Johnson said. "He's a no-nonsense Midwestern guy who was a great ambassador for our school and community. These are the ones as an AD where you hope you get to retire before they do."

Assistant coach Ben Cherrington has shared much of the coaching duties with Trusty over the past several seasons and he will also be departing the program to focus on other business opportunities, Johnson said.

Cherrington was an All-American wrestler and national champion at Boise State and former head coach at Northern Colorado.

"We were super blessed to have two guys with such high character and wrestling acumen leading our young men," Johnson said.

Windsor's Evan Perez hugs Wizards assistant coach Ben Cherrington while surrounded by family after winning the 4A 165-pound championship match during the Colorado state wrestling tournament at Ball Arena on Feb. 18, 2023, in Denver.
Windsor's Evan Perez hugs Wizards assistant coach Ben Cherrington while surrounded by family after winning the 4A 165-pound championship match during the Colorado state wrestling tournament at Ball Arena on Feb. 18, 2023, in Denver.

Trusty's Windsor teams finished with a 249-55 record in duals and 155 state qualifiers in his 16 seasons.

Johnson said Windsor is finalizing details for the job posting this week and plans to begin searching for Trusty's replacement in June.

The school hopes to have its new wrestling coach in place by August.

"The ripple effects of Monte's tenure will continue," Johnson said. "Going forward, the program doesn’t need to be rebuilt. We just want to continue the great tradition of Windsor wrestling."

This article originally appeared on Fort Collins Coloradoan: Colorado wrestling: Windsor's Monte Trusty retiring after 16 seasons