"Coaching is about creating an action plan that moves you forward from where you are to where you want to be." - James Himm Mitchell

Gary Keener

Head Coach

Coach Keener has served as the varsity head coach for the last 7 years, compiling an overall record of 99 and 38.  The varsity team has captured 5 straight Division 1 championships in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 as well as the first 4 League Tournament championships in school history in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.  Prior to coaching at Pottsville, Coach Keener's experience included 8 years at Blue Mountain as the varsity assistant coach. While in that position, the team was ranked 14th nationally in 2009 and 16th in 2010. They were also back to back AAA state runner-ups in 2009 and 2010.  Over the last 14 years he has helped coach 15 state medalists including 5 AAA state champions and 26 state qualifiers. Coach Keener is a 6 time Pennsylvania USA Wrestling National Team coach.  In 2016 he was named The Republican Herald Wrestling Coach of the Year.  He resides in Pottsville with his wife Johanna and 4 step children Braden, Ava, Seth, and Chase.  His son Corey who wrestled for 2018 Division 1 National Champion Penn State is the Head Varsity Assistant Coach. His daughter Kayla is currently attending Temple University.

Corey Keener

Head Varsity Assistant Coach

2015-16: Named Academic All-MAC and to the National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Academic Team … finished second at 133 lbs. at the MAC Championships … had a 19-12 overall record at 133 lbs., including a 6-2 mark in MAC duals … placed second at the Michigan State Open (11/15) and the Reno Tournament of Champions (12/20) … won four consecutive matches in early February, including three versus MAC opponents, by a combined margin of 43-8 … fell 3-1 in sudden victory in the MAC Championship 133-lb. title match … went 1-2 at the NCAA Championships (3/17-3/18). 

2013-14: Finished the season with a 19-14 record ... went 4-1 and finished second in 125-open division at MSU Open (11/9) ... upset No. 12 Jade Rauser (Utah Valley) by decision, 8-4 (11/15) ... defeated No. 7 Anthony Kraisser (UNC) at the Northeast Duals by decision, 8-7 (11/30) ... defeated Kevon Powell (Ohio) 3-1 in sudden victory to secure the conference win for the Chippewas (1/17) ... Defeated Alfredo Grey (Kent St.) 8-3 (1/26) ... went 2-2 to finish fourth at the MAC Championships, earning a bid to the NCAA Championships ... went 0-2 at the NCAAA Championships (3/20).

2012-13: Redshirt ... competed at the 2013 FILA Junior Freestyle Nationals at 60kg ... competed at the 2013 ASICS University Nationals at 60kg.

High School: No. 19 126-pound recruit in the country by InterMat ... four-time Schuylkill League champion, four-time District 11 Class AAA and four-time Northeast Regional Class AAA champion ... won back-to-back Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association AAA state championships, claiming the 126-pound title as a senior and 119-pound crown as a junior ... finished runner-up at 112 pounds a sophomore and was fifth as a freshman ... only student-athlete in high school's history to place four times at state championships ... holds Pennsylvania District XI career win record with 190 victories ... two-time USA National Champion in both freestyle and Greco-Roman ... named a 126-pound All-American by InterMat.

Sam Julian

Assistant Coach

Coach Julian was a 1x District XI medalist,1 time Schuylkill League champion, multiple time Freestyle/Greco-Roman state champion as well as a Cadet All-American in Greco at Fargo. He wrestled for 1 year at Kutztown University.


Coach Julian is currently in his 7th season as an assistant coach with the Crimson Tide. He was an assistant coach at Blue Mountain for 8 years and helped at the high school (nationally ranked in 2009 and back to back state runner-ups in 2009 and 2010) and mainly the junior high level where he coached 43 district medalists. He currently serves as the PAWF vice-chairman, is a member of the USA wrestling freestyle sports committee, and he officiated the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Coach Julian has also officiated 10 World Championships, 1 Youth Olympics, 2 Pan-American Games, 9 world Team Trials, and 2 Olympic Team Trials. He is currently employed as an autistic support teacher at Schuylkill Haven High School.

Chris Gardner

Volunteer Assistant Coach

Coach Gardner was a 2 time District 11 medalist and a 2 time Schuylkill League champion. After his high school career he went on to wrestle at Division 1 Wilkes University where he wrestled under legendary coach John Reese.  He and his wife Joie Lynne reside in Pottsville. Their son, Luke, currently wrestles for Penn State University and their daughter Libby attends Florida Gulf Coast University.

Brett Matukewicz

Junior High Coach

Ryan Green

Assistant Volunteer Junior High Coach

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