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Tue., July 27, 2010, 12:35 p.m.

Another Owen in GSL coaching ranks

Click the tab below to read about former University High wrestling standout Tommy Owen being hired as head coach at Central Valley.

By Greg Lee, (509) 927-2180

The second generation of Owens has arrived in Greater Spokane League wrestling.

Tommy Owen, a three-time state champion and state runner-up at University, has been named head coach at Central Valley. He replaces Doug Pecha, who was dismissed after one season.

Owen wrestled for his uncle, Don, at U-Hi. His father, John, coached for six years at CV and has been at West Valley the past two years. Another uncle, Tim, is head coach at Ferris.

“When you have a dad like I have, it’s almost like cheating because he paved the road for you,” Tommy, 27, said. “This is a real good opportunity. I’ve worked hands on with the seniors. They were freshmen in my dad’s last year at CV. So I know the kids a little bit.”

Owen is completing work toward a master’s degree in special education. He’s also finishing work toward his teaching endorsement.

“Tommy obviously has an excellent background,” CV activities director Butch Walter said. “He comes from a solid wrestling background and family.”

Owen wrestled three years at the University of Minnesota, twice qualifying for the NCAA tournament. He spent his final two years at Boise State where he graduated in 2007.

“It’s an excellent opportunity and great program,” Owen’s father, John, said. “I’m pleased that my son would follow my career. I can’t tell you how proud I am of that. Hopefully he’s learned from his dad’s success and hopefully from his dad’s mistakes.”

Tommy takes over a program that will go head to head with his alma mater for Spokane Valley supremacy.

“He’s ready to take on a head coaching job,” Don said. “He interacts well with kids. He’ll be a great coach for them.”

Tommy can’t wait to get started.

“Usually you always have the first year nervousness,” he said. “Going into this I feel completely comfortable. I think I have a handle on it and know what I’m going to get from the kids and the parents. I’m excited to be coaching in the GSL. It’s so competitive, that’s one of the reasons I wanted to get into the GSL. The league is full of really good coaches. And there’s not one coach in the Valley that’s not a very successful coach. Some of the best wrestling in the state is in the GSL.”

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Greg Lee
Greg Lee joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a prep reporter covering Eastern Washington and North Idaho schools.

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