MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - "I see young kids coming in looking for direction with a lot of raw talent and it's fun to see them progress," said Mesa High assistant wrestling coach Bobby Williams.

That satisfaction is why Williams has given his wrestling expertise to Mesa High for 32 years.

[WATCH: Mesa wrestling coach still going strong]

"First as an assistant, then as a head coach, now I've come back to an assistant. I'm having a ball. It's great," said Williams.

"I've coached with Bobby for 20 years. I love coaching with him. My first move as a head coach as I walked out of the office after they offered me the position was to call Bobby and hire him," said Mesa High wrestling coach David DiDomenico.

Highly respected, Williams helped build the Jack Rabbits into one of the state's most steady programs.

"It's been successful. We've never had a losing season. We are respected around the state," said Williams.

Through the years, he's gone through generations of families.

"Not only do I see younger brothers, not only younger brothers come through and some sisters too but also the next generations of their kids growing up and coming back in. And I see that light sparkle in their eyes and see them looking for something to improve themselves and it's neat to see that transformation," said Williams.

He's home, where it all started.

"I graduated Mesa High as state champ and became an All-American my first year at MCC. I went on to ASU and wrestled for Bobby Douglas," Williams said.

"He was wrestling guys that made the Olympic team. He would beat them some times and they would beat him sometimes. It was really whose day was it that day to who goes to the Olympics and Bobby was right there. He was that close," said DiDomenico.

Teaching the most intense one-on-one sport, Williams is providing more than guidance for technique and strategy. He's building character.

"So, when I see kids come back, and they often come back. they're very successful, so that's another big bonus I get," said Williams.

Going strong for so long, from time to time, this rock has considered retiring.

"Knees aren't what they use to be. I've kind of kept an open end about retirement right now. I always see former wrestlers come up and say, 'Coach, you gotta stay with it. I've got a kid coming through. He's 12 years old. You gotta stay with it.' But I know eventually that day will come," said Williams.

Until he walks away, he's taking promising young athletes and shaping them into promising individuals.

 


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