Castle wrestling coach
returns as a volunteer

By Nick Abramo

Fired Castle High School wrestling co-head coach Billy Wood is back with the team on a volunteer basis, Knights athletic director Richard Haru said yesterday.

Wood, who was let go two weeks ago after failing on several occasions to follow proper athletic department procedures, won't have administrative duties in his new role.

"There are a lot of positives he brings as a coach, and we want to take advantage of that," Haru said. The decision to bring back Wood was made after principal Meredith Maeda, Haru and parents of the wrestlers met Monday.

"I think it was a fair decision," Wood said. "I can go back to focusing on coaching wrestling technique and be a non-administrator. The problem obviously stemmed from my mistakes, but if I had been demoted to a volunteer in the first place, we could have avoided a bunch of hoopla that we went through."

Wood isn't concerned about the loss of pay, he said, because it isn't a significant amount.

"Of course it's nice to get paid, but none of us coaches are coaching because of the money," he said.

Wood started with the Knights in 1998 as a volunteer and was promoted in 2000 to co-head coach alongside Phil Acosta, who normally handled the administrative aspects of the program until this year, when he cut back on his role to pursue educational and family interests.

Wood found himself in the unfamiliar role of planning and paperwork.

Wood said he has a "great relationship with every kid on the team" along with a lot of support from the parents.

Wood volunteers each summer as a coach in USA Wrestling with Team Hawaii. He is the state women's director as well as a referee for USA Wrestling, and he will become silver-certified in May by the National Coaches Education Program.

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