Below are the current list of nominations:
MUST BE A MEMBER TO VOTE and TO RECEIVE AN AWARD!
PLEASE BE SURE TO HAVE YOUR CORRECT WIAA DISTRICT NUMBER BEFORE PROCEEDING! WIAA District assignments can be found in the "High School" section under the "Programs" tab.
District 1 COY
Michael Kelly - Amery HS
Coach Kelly took over Amery 4 years ago and they started out with a 1-6 MBC record. Now 4 years later Coach Kelly has Amery's first MBC Championship in over 40 years. Coach Kelly's team ended a 35 year run for Ellsworth when they defeated Ellsworth this season. Amery had a perfect season going 17-0, winning the MBC conference, Regionals and sectionals. Coach Kelly's Amery Warriors also had the most team points at individual state, scoring more points than any team in any division in the state. Then his team went to team state and won a Team state championship. Amery also had 7 sectional Champions, scoring 3 falls in the finals. Coach Kelly also had all 7 sectional champions place at state. He had 2 State Champions, 1 runner-up, 2 3rd places and 1 4th place and 1 6th place. Coach Kelly also had Koy Hoke win State as the biggest weigh class for a freshman in Wisconsin history. In the last 4 years Coach Kelly has had 6 freshman qualify for the state tournament, with 2 placing 3rd and 1 state champion. This season Coach Kelly was able to accomplish everything that could be accomplished in a wrestling season.
Joe Raygor - St. Croix Falls
In his second year as head coach Joe led his team to a 9-0 record outscoring their opponents 563 - 121. St. Croix Falls won the regional for the 5th straight year and was second in the sectional tournament. They placed 4 wrestlers at the state tournament with 2 state champions while finishing 2nd as a team at the individual state tournament.Joe's biggest accomplishment this year was keeping 27 kids out for wrestling during a COVID year. With many other teams struggling to fill teams St. Croix Falls numbers have stayed strong. This is a direct result of Joe's work with the middle and elementary programs.
Josh Spaeth - Cadott
The team made it to state for the first time in 14 years. There were 4 state qualifiers and it was one of the few programs in the state with multiple individual state champions, two, for the second year in a row.
District 2 COY
Eric Lehrke - D.C. Everest
Won First conference championship in 39 years. Regional champs. Never got quarantined.
Cody Nielsen - Oconto Falls
First year head coach leading his team to a Regional Title and 6th Place Sectional finish at a very tough D2 Sectional. He also was able to qualify 2 wrestlers to the state tournament. Both ended up on the podium, one of which was crowned his 3rd consecutive state title as just a Junior.
District 3 COY
Jason Lulloff - Holmen HS
This year, Jason led the Vikings to a 10-1 dual meet record, with 5 of these wins coming over ranked opponents. Holmen won their Regional Tournament, had two Individual State Medalists, and qualified for Team State for 5th consecutive year.
Ernest Peterson - Whitehall
Coach Peterson is in his 18th season as Head Coach at Whitehall. In this tough COVID season he managed to navigate the team through all of the hazards. He authored and used practice protocols that allowed the school community build trust in the idea wrestling should happen. From kindergarten through 12th grade he managed to give the kids training opportunities in a safe and productive manner in some intense resistance at times. The high school team went 9-0 in duals this season, allowing for Coach Peterson and the kids to achieve dual will number 98 in his era at the helm. The team took the conference championship as well this season. He worked with the school administration in difficult circumstances to get one of his senior wrestlers the opportunity to get enough attempts to try for 100 career wins, which did occur in the last match at the regional. That was a career dream for that kid and he was sure it wasn't going to happen for him.
District 4 COY
Tyler Lee - Winneconne HS
Since Tyler Lee took over as wrestling coach at Winneconne in the 2017-18 School year he has turned a low level program with about 11 Wrestlers, into a top tier Division 2 Wrestling Program in Wisconsin. In his first year he started with 11 total wrestler's in the program, his second year, the 2018-19 season he increased numbers to 15 wrestlers and won the schools first conference wrestling title since 2003, 15 years. In the 2019-20 Season he increased to 16 wrestlers and won another ECC Conference Championship and had several wrestlers qualify for State. In 2020-21 Season he won his 3rd Straight Conference Championship and increased the number of wrestlers in his program went up to 25 and he has created a great feeder program in our MS. Along with 3 straight conference Championships the last 3 years they have a couple regional titles, and in 2020-21 the school's first ever Team Sectional title and WIAA State Team appearance. Four Winneconne wrestlers qualified for individual Sate and 2 came home as State Champions, another on the podium and the other gaining valuable experience by making the trip. Winneconne wrestles in a very tough part of the Sate with teams such as Freedom, Lux-Casco and several others. Tyler in his 4 years of coaching has turned Winneconne into an outstanding program and has an excellent opportunity to return to the WIAA Team Sate Tournament in the 2021-22 season.
Jeff Matczak - Kaukauna
Jeff has developed Kaukauna into a state power house. They won the Division 1 State Championship this year. It's their 5th time in 8 years! To do so they had to defeat the 3-time defending champs Stoughton. They also had 8 State qualifiers, 7 medalists and 2 Individual State Champions! Jeff has coached Kaukauna to 16 straight Fox Valley Association Conference Championships and 23 overall in his 29 years of coaching and each one has been very special to him. Jeff has coached Kaukauna to 5 State Championships, 4 State-runnerups, 19 times at Team State!(Sectional Championships), 25 Regional Championships, and 19 Individual State Champions! Jeff is the first one to credit his coaching staff, wrestling club and the Kaukauna community for help in his success. Jeff is always willing to help and talk to anyone about wrestling and life.
District 5 COY
Curtis Fiedler - Mineral Point
Division 3 Team State Champ and Ind. Team State Champs
Mike Rogge - Prairie du Chien
Mike is a top notch head coach that I have gotten to know over the last couple of years he has been in charge of the Prairie du Chien wrestling program. He coaches with class, integrity, and with passion...which shows through in his athletes on the mat. The PDC team qualified for their 2nd straight Team State and this year broke through with an impressive Runner-Up finish. Qualifying for a Team State in any sport is so very difficult to achieve. To place, as PDC did, is even tougher. I believe Mike and his program would be an appropriate candidate to receive COY honors! Congratulations on a great season Mike and all PDC wrestlers!!
District 6 COY
Ryan Gerber - Fort Atkinson
Coach Gerber is the definition of a TEAM First coach. Fort Atkinson finished the season with almost 40 Wrestlers, despite many teams struggling to fill rosters in this COVID year. Fort Atkinson finished the season undefeated in Badger Conference Duals, 3rd at Regionals and 7th in the very tough Mukwonago Regional and Sectionals. He also managed to accomplish all of this in a high school that did not compete in fall sports and in a community in which athletic success is seldom found. Finally, Coach Gerber is not only invested in the success of the Fort Atkinson High School Wrestling program, he is actively involved in creating an award-winning wrestling program for the community. Coach Gerber actively works with Fort Atkinson youth wrestling, middle school wrestling and serves on the WWCA board as the secretary. Ryan Gerber is an excellent leader, role model, coach, teacher and is well deserving of this award.
Clay Nelson - Delavan-Darien
Tied for a share of the SLC championship, beat Burlington in the conference dual meet, won the Regional Tournament, placed 2nd at Sectional Tournament, sent 10 wrestlers to Sectionals, 3 State qualifiers, 1 State finalist (2nd), and 1 5th place.
District 7 COY
Lino Martinez - Kenosha Christian Life
This was an especially difficult year for everyone and every program around the state. Lino Martinez (affectionately known as Señor) held our program together when it looked like we may not field a team. He continually had a positive attitude and prepared as if we would have a season. He did not become negative when tournaments were cancelled and only duals were allowed, instead he went to work seeking answers to the "problems". Señor recruited wrestlers in our hallways everyday and spoke to parents that had concerns about health protocols.
When the season began, Señor, was shot out of a cannon and coached the team like he has every other year, with energy, enthusiasm, and excitement. He never made excuses and never allowed his team to make excuses. He was/is such a positive light for the program at Christian Life.
On the mat Señor inched closer to his 500th win as a coach. (he previously coached and is a Hall of Famer in Illinois) and helped to qualify 6 wrestlers for the WIAA state tournament. All the while with our wrestlers regarding academics. Señor helped Kenosha Christian Life win their 9th consecutive WIAA regional title. In my opinion their is no one who is more deserving of this award than Señor Martinez.
Terry Nachtigall & Mitch Pordon - Oak Creek
Undefeated in SEC Conference duals & Coached 3 state placers: 1 State Champ & 2 4th Placers.
Cody Tonsor and Jeff Rollins - Slinger HS
They won the North Shore Conference Championship and made to the final four teams at D-1 State.
District 8 COY
Kevin Koch - Concordia University
Kevin Koch and Concordia went 6-2 on this shortened season, and will be participating in the upcoming NWCA D3 National Meet in Iowa March 12-13. Koch has consistently grown the program and roster in a very successful fourth season.
District 1 ACOY
Mike Steffen - St. Croix Falls
After 21 years Mike is stepping down as assistant coach. In this time he has coached 8 state champions, 29 state place winners and 55 state qualifiers. 9 team conference titles, 7 regional titles and 2 sectional titles. Mike was a big part of all that success. His biggest asset to the program has been the relationships he has built with the kids. He has the ability to steer kids in the right direction in life and really make a difference in their post wrestling life. He is truly deserving of this award.
Vinny Zeiher - Amery HS
Coach Vinny played a huge role in Amery's success this year. Vinny worked with State Champion Koy Hopke and State Champion Kale Hopke and State Runner-up Robert Beese on a daily basis. He would do workouts and drills with these boys that no other coach would ever do. Vinny helped Amery become one of the best teams if not the best team in the whole state this year in any division. Vinny would warm up Robert Beese in his coaching clothes if asked, Vinny will do whatever it takes to get his boys ready to win. Vinny also helps with the youth and helps run every practice. There is not a assistant coach around that has had more dedication to a program than Vinny to Amery. Vinny will do any drill with anyone and loves to work as hard as the boys, he sets an amazing example and Amery's succus is because of him. Vinny is the toughest and most dedicated assistant coach I have ever seen. I hope no other team ever finds someone like him, because they will also become great and we like winning.
District 2 ACOY
Cullan Morrissey - Oconto Falls
1st year assistant coach helped his team to a Regional Title and 6th Place Sectional finish at a very tough D2 Sectional. He also was able to assist in qualify 2 wrestlers to the state tournament. Both ended up on the podium, one of which was crowned his 3rd consecutive state title as just a Junior.
District 3 ACOY
Ross Friedl - Royall
Ross is one of the key people at Royall Wrestling. He is a long time youth coach organizing and holding many practices for his beloved Panthers. Many of these young wrestlers ended up being the back bone of their high school team and have been state qualifiers. Ross's activities have been good for the whole of wrestling in this area of the state because of his willingness to promote/host events and to try to provide good experiences for all of the wrestlers (even from other wrestling programs) that participate in those events. He went above and beyond in this COVID season in providing opportunities for kids to wrestle and worked with coaches from other schools to make that happen in a safe and productive way.
Jared Bagniewski - Holmen
District 4 ACOY
Chris Rundquist and Mark Cowling - Neenah
Chris and Mark have played vital roles in the success of the Neenah Wrestling program. Mark has been coaching at various levels in the program for over 30 years while Chris has been our head JV wrestling coach for 9 seasons. Due to COVID-19 guidelines this year we ran two practices a day to limit the number of athletes in our practice room for each workout and Chris and Mark worked together to help lead many early morning practice throughout the season. More importantly our overall team GPA has improved every season over the past five years and this year 79% of our student athletes achieved a 3.0 or higher GPA although our students faced many challenges of changing school schedules and digital learning. This academic success can be directly tied to the impact both Mark Cowling and Chris Rundquist make day in and day out off the mat in the daily support they provide our student athletes.
Tony Schaaf, Stephen Schnurer, Quincy Koltz and Shawn Achterberg - Wrightstown
These guys all have a special place in the Wrightstown program. Each brings something special to the whole program. You can't pick one when all 4 are great together. You can't pick an arm or leg that's more important. Same thing here.They're a huge part of Wrightstown's success.
Jeremy VanSchyndel - Kaukauna
Jeremy has recently completed his 11th season coaching and every season has resulted in a Fox Valley Association Championship and several State individual and team accolades. Jeremy, his wife Mandy, and their large young family are totally invested in wrestling as they follow their dad on weekends to cheer on the team. Jeremy was a stellar high school wrestler himself and has kept up with current trends of wrestling technique and has become a valuable resource for our kids. He can break down a match and communicate what needs to be said as well as anyone. His relationships with kids goes way beyond the mat as he prepares kids with life skills to position themselves for success beyond graduation.
District 5 ACOY
Cory Koeing - Prairie du Chien HS
Behind every program's head coach, is a vital piece that without out would not function at as high of a level. Cory Koenig, Assistant Coach for PDC, is this vital piece. A successful program is like a marriage...without one, the other does not function as well. Congratulations Cory on a great season and all that you provided to help make it successful!
Cory Sokol and Grant Miller - Mineral Point
These two were a pivotal part of the Mineral Point team accomplishing a 7-0 record, a regional title, a sectional title, and D3 Team State title. They also have a big impact on the kids throughout the year on the mat (6 state qualifiers, two 6th place finishers, two state runner-ups, two state champions) and off of the mat as the continued to help kid progress as positive members of their community.
Jeff Novinska - Richland Center Hornets
Mr. Novinska has been an integral part of the success of many young athletes over the course of his twenty plus years of coaching and teaching. Starting as a Junior high coach and officiating at the high school level, Mr. Novinska worked his way up the ranks of coaching that included a stint as an assistant coach to Mr. Stan Weigel in Boscobel for 12 years. Jeff has had the distinction of producing multiple state place winners from small school districts with low numbers of athletes to work with. Ten of his former wrestlers have continued in the sport as WIAA coaches. Mr. Novinska has been with Richland Center as an assistant coach for 5 years and in that timeframe has sent as many as 3 athletes in a year to the state tournament despite having as few as 5 kids on the roster. Jeff helped Richland Center win our regional tournament in 2020 having only 12 of 14 weight classes filled. In the course of working with our team Mr. Novinska identified a need for additional training and was instrumental in starting a USA Wrestling sanctioned club to provide our athletes a venue for off-season training. Whether it be in the classroom, on the mat or in the off season Mr. Novinska always takes the time to build every athlete into being a better person and this is why I feel Jeff would make an exceptional recipient of this award.
District 6 ACOY
Randy Ferrell - Arrowhead HS
The fact that we had a wrestling season as well as a post-season is because of WWCA representatives like Randy. Randy worked with the WWCA and WIAA throughout the season in relation to Covid and competition. Randy also helped to develop and implement a covid mitigation plan for Arrowhead. This season Arrowhead had 3 state qualifiers with 2 state champions and one third place finish.
Johnny Gomez - Whitewater HS
I am nominating Johnny Gomez from Whitewater for the Assistant Coach of the Year Award. Coach Gomez has been a part of the whippet program since 2007 when he volunteered as a middle school coach. Since 2008 he has been an important piece of the high school program as the head assistant as well as being a huge part of the youth program, running many of the practices and drills for our future Whippets.
Coach Gomez goes above and beyond the duties as an assistant coach. He is always looking for ways to help each individual student-athlete improve by finding technique that fits their style of wrestling and will put them in the best spot to be successful. He also watches motivational videos to help inspire the student-athletes and help give them confidence throughout the season. As the head coach I have no worries if I have to have a meeting after school as I know that Coach Gomez will do an outstanding job running practice. This year has been more crucial than any other due to so many protocol changes. Coach Gomez has incorporated many drills that we have implemented that I believe are outstanding and will help our teams progress in years to come.
Although the Whitewater Wrestling Program is not in the team sections every year I believe Coach Gomez is very deserving of the Assistant Coach of the Year award. He is in coaching for the student-athletes at all levels and does a great job promoting the sport of wrestling in the Whitewater community in a positive way. He is extremely reliable and will do what is best for the program and wrestling at all times 24/7, 12 months of the year.
Abe Graziano - Fort Atkinson
Coach Graziano is the assistant every head would want on his staff. He works tirelessly to help promote the vision and culture that we’re hoping to establish, he spends countless hours working with student-athletes to find ways to improve as both wrestlers and as people, and dedicates his time to being prepared for upcoming situations and opportunities. During the season, he coordinates our trackwrestling needs by handling the technical aspects of running anywhere from 4-6 events in Fort each year. He has been a driving force behind our move to hosting 2 weeknight JV events which eliminate unnecessary Saturday tournaments for our kids and keep our kids wrestling in their home gym. He also assists in our scouting of teams and events throughout the year in order to provide our wrestlers with the best possible plan for upcoming competition.
In addition to Coach Graziano’s in-season responsibilities, he coordinates our offseason program. This program consists of a team run Wrestling Club - coached by members of the local University, as well as running a team run training camp that consists of both instructional opportunities as well as wrestling duals. Named “Fortitude”, the training camp has proven to be successful in getting kids to buy-in and show up for work-outs while also enhancing the team culture that we’re working to cultivate. This program has been incredibly important in helping our athletes close the gap as many of our athletes don’t have the resources to attend “private academies''. Keeping our efforts local as well as cost efficient best suits the population of students that we are working with. These efforts are a lot of work as they require a ton of prep, coordination, and organization to secure clinicians, work with other programs, and establish a culture of wrestling in the offseason for our kids.
Finally, Coach Graziano serves as our club treasurer, a role that keeps him involved at all levels of our program. He works with our fundraising arm of the club as well as with our coaches and families of our youth and middle school teams. In short, there really isn’t a part of our k-12 program that Coach Graziano doesn’t have some involvement with.
Brad Waite - Clinton Community School District
Mr. Waite has been deeply involved in the Clinton Community Wrestling program for the past 28 years. His service to the wrestling community has been amazing. A very soft spoken man, is deeply respected by his peers as well as the hundreds of kids’ lives he’s met over the past almost 3 decades. He continues to give and give, never asking for anything. He easily would be the last person to ever ask for any acknowledgment. I have asked him why he does this many times. His response is always the same “Wrestling has done so much for me in my life, this is really the only way I can pay it forward”. He has children in college, high school & middle school. None of them wrestle. He truly donates his time and energy out of pure love and respect for the sport of Wrestling. I have been in or near the sport of Wrestling for nearly 35 years and I can tell you few people I have met have the passion this humble Coach has.
District 7 ACOY
John LeClaire - Brookfield East HS
In a difficult year for everyone and every team, each program looked within to find that Spark and Glue that helps the team continue to grow and help their wrestlers make the next step. John LeClaire was that coach this year. With a year full of unknowns and frustrations and just like many teams, we didn't even have a daily practice facility. John managed to help the team rise above that and continue our quest to maximize our potential. As the season went on we got our wrestling room back and then we were shut down for 2 weeks. John continued communication with the team and the coaches so when we were able to get back to wrestling we could make the most of it. His attitude and effort this year was contagious through the room and it helped our program reach the level of success that it did.
Tom Maloney - Whitnall/Greendale
Tom has been coaching for over 20 years and with the Whitnall/Greendale program for the past 7 years. Was a long time asst. with West Allis Central when they had some very successful runs and was the former head coach at St. Joseph's. Does an excellent job with all facets of our program and works with all levels. Does really well with the jv's but also will take over practices and demonstrate moves for the entire team. Works tirelessly and always works behind the scenes but is truly a backbone of the program. Volunteers countless hours with the middle school team and putting in lots of hours in the off-season. Truly deserving of this honor for past and current dedication to the sport and our program.
District 8 ACOY
Alex Montbriand - Concordia University
Alex has been instrumental in the development of Concordia's team in 2020-21, especially with the freshman. His positive impact has been felt daily with this team in his first season as Assistant Coach.
Wrestler of the Year
Matt Bianchi - Two Rivers
4-time State Champion
Blaine Brenner - Stanley-Boyd
Blaine won his third state title this season. Blaine was 18-0 this season with 18 pins. 100% pin percentage. Only one opponent even made it to the third period. Blaine ended his career on an 89 match win streak. He has compiled a 133-8 record over his career and currently has a 3.639 weighted GPA and plans on attending the University of Minnesota next year and wrestling for the Gophers.
Gus Donovan - Richland Center
Gus started his wrestling career as a Freshman and accumulated a record of 13 -15. With hard work, dedication and an internal desire to be the best in the state, this young man was the runner-up at 138 pds. In D2 this year.
For the past 2 years he has wrestled year round with some of the best wrestlers in Wisconsin at RT Elite in Mt. Horeb and has accumulated a current record of 106 - 43 Academically Gus has a cumulative GPA of 3.9 plus and is currently ranked 19 in his class. Not including this year he has been on the Honor Roll 3 Times and is a 3 Time Academic All-Conference winner. His extracurricular activities include being a member of the Math Team,, Science Club, Key Club, Spanish Club, and he is involved in Sources of Strength.
Gus also participated in football and was a Varsity letter winner all 4 years. This year honors included making second-team all-conference as a linebacker and was voted as the team's MVP on defense.
Jager Eisch - Kaukauna
Two-time state champion that beat Nicolar Rivera in the finals and FVA Conference Wrestler of the Year.
Trett Joles - Boyceville
Trett dominated competition from his freshman year on wrestling 182/195, Winning 3 state titles and taking 3rd as a freshman. In those state final matches he went pin, pin and tech. 162-3 career record, 102 pins. Trett also won a high school national tournament in Virginia Beach. 4.0 gpa. USA wrestling magazine All-American.
Nolan Springer - Mineral Point
2-time State Champion. Tech Fall in the state finals, biggest point getter for Regionals and Sectionals, along with two pins at the Team State tournament. Committed to Bucknell next year, which shows he is an outstanding student with a 4.0 GPA and high ACT score. Continues to be a strong leader for this team and blazes the trail for his younger teammates to follow for years down the road.
Connor Thorpe - Brookfield East HS
Connor like all of the nominations has had a tremendous amount of success in his high school Career. In his high school career, he has taken third at state three times before capping his senior season with a state championship. But even more than his own achievements his influence on the teammates at Brookfield East has helped this program rewrite the history books. His selflessness and effort to help his teammates improve and the culture that he helped develop is something Brookfield East will benefit from for years to come.
Randy Ferrell - Arrowhead
Randy is as connected to the sport of wrestling in Wisconsin as anyone. We need leadership that understands what our sport faces in Wisconsin as well as somebody who is chiefly concerned with making sure that our kids come first. He has been a long time member of this board and has a strong rapport with the current WIAA Executive Board team. His help in navigating this Covid season as one of our Presidents was important and I believe as we head into these uncertain times ahead, that the familiarity that Randy brings to the table will be increasingly important. Our WWCA leadership is very important in ensuring that this sport continues to exist in the future, now is the time to double down on the kind of experience and familiarity that Randy brings to the table.
Jason Lulloff - Holmen
Jason is currently District 3 rep and has been on the WWCA board for the last 4+ years. As District 3 rep, Jason has served his district in support and communication very well. By serving as District 3 rep he shows his dedication to helping the sport of wrestling as well as being in the know of current and future workings of the WWCA. Jason brings great leadership skills to the WWCA which shows in his participation of many of the WWCA committees assisting in critical WWCA initiatives. He has also worked closely with the WIAA by serving on the WIAA Coaches Advisory Committee in past years. This experience has given him a good understanding of the advisory process and the workings of the WIAA. Jason is ambitious, hardworking, and thinks outside the box. These skills are demonstrated well as he is head coach of the successful Holmen wrestling team and along with his work in running the Bi-State tournament. Jason brings strong leadership, enthusiasm, and a clear vision to the WWCA which will continue to serve the wrestling community and the WWCA well into the future.
District 3 Representative
Jason Lulloff - Holmen
Whitehall supports Coach Lulloff as District 3 Rep if his presidential bid falls short. We feel he would make a great president as well as the other nominees to date. Our position is that the head coach of a strong, big school program, he still goes to bat for the small school interests as well. He has been a good representative for this area and thinks about the whole and the growth of the sport.
District 4 Representative
Duane Hartkopf - Oshkosh West HS
Duane has coached for ten years: three years as an assistant between Lourdes Academy and Oshkosh West, and seven years as the head coach at Oshkosh West. In the past five years, he has coached 17 State Qualifiers, 5 State Place-winners, and this year Oshkosh West's first State Champion.
He is passionate about the growth of female wrestling statewide and finding proactive ways to increase participation at all levels across the sport. As a WWCA District Representative, he would be a great leader in creating opportunities to support and develop coaches (as he has also been supportive to those who coach around and against him, always willing to share advice and be of service).
Justin Lancaster - Freedom
Justin has done a great job so far as District 4 Rep. He is passionate about issues involved in wrestling. He has been helping lead the way in improvements in wrestling in Wisconsin. He is very involved and listens to the issues and helps bring them forward. Having a guy like Justin on the board is what Wisconsin needs to keep improving and making the changes necessary. Justin is on the Coaches advisory board already, so he knows how things work. He leads the Freedom program, which is one of the prominent programs in the state.