National Record Holder and Legendary Hall of Fame Wrestling Coach Retires. Written by Stuart Mahler
In the summer of 1964 Coach Jim Husk came to Florida after an outstanding performance, as a running back for Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. His new job was to coach Football and Track at Archbishop Curley. This just happened to be the same time that the FHSAA sanctioned Florida High School Wrestling.
Even though Coach Husk was an outstanding wrestler who wrestled on a 4 year undefeated wrestling team in Waynesburg, Pa., Jim had pretty much given up his wrestling career when he took a full scholarship in football over wrestling, track and baseball. Coach Husk earned 12 varsity letters while he was a student athlete at Waynesburg High School.
Now while at Curley the football season was over and he was waiting for the track season to begin, he walked into the wrestling practice and saw the wrestling team being coached by Brother Theodore Benten with a book in his hand. The team had not won a match in 3 years and had already lost their 1st match of the season. Jim felt a commitment to help and told the coach that he would go home and get his workout gear.
As strange as it sounds when Coach Husk got back he was told the coach had gotten transferred to a school in Texas and this was the beginning of one of the eight most successful wrestling coaches ever in the history of high school wrestling.
The team had already lost their 1st match of the season, and after taking over they ended up 9-1 during his 1st season as a coach. Curley High School under the direction of Coach Husk had a winning record of 54-8 for dual meets; they were state team runner-ups 2X and 3rd 2X.
Jim was chosen Florida Coach of the Year by the other wrestling coaches at the 1st official state tournament held at Miami Dade Junior College North Campus in 1965. Two great points of interest occurred while at Curley under Coach Husk; Horatio Villa was awarded the 1st full wrestling scholarship for any Florida wrestler to a Division 1 school. He received a scholarship to Arizona State University during the Curley Culp era. Also Carlos "Chico" Barquin who was a state finalist on Jim's 2nd team became one of the states most the successful cross country coaches and athletic Director of Belen Jesuit High School, in Miami.
At the end of the 1968 season Jim had the opportunity to move to the Dade County School System and take over one of many wrestling programs, Husk took the challenge of building his own program at Miami Southwest High School. During his tenure at Southwest Jim built many great teams and he produced many champions including 2X State Champion and All-American Johnny Williams. Williams who was Miami Dade County's leading rusher followed in the footsteps of coach Husk and went to the University of Miami on a football scholarship instead of taking one of the many wrestling scholarships being offered. Southwest's dual meet record under Coach Husk was 98-22-1; they were state team runner-up 1X and 3rd 3X's.
In the spring of 1976 Miami Southridge was about to open and Mr. Teckerman knew that he wanted to win state championships and have the premier wrestling program in the state, so he contacted Husk. When Jim arrived to meet Mr. Teckerman, he was told that he would be Physical Education Department Head, and Head Wrestling Coach.
Mr. Teckerman had already put in the paperwork for Jim to be transferred to the Ridge. From that moment on Coach Husk really shined and proved Mr. Teckerman to be right. In his 2nd season the Spartan's won their 1st State Wrestling Title in 1978 without an individual state champion. In all, while at Southridge the Spartans under the only head wrestling coach in the history of the school they have a dual meet record of 458-38-3, they have won 7 big class state wrestling titles. Also they have been team runner-ups 4X'S. The Spartan's also under the direction of Coach Husk have won 14 Regional titles, 17 District titles, 18 GMAC Conference championships, 22 Christmas Invitational Championships, and multiple invitational tournaments.
Coach James Albert Husk has a lifetime dual meet record of 609-67-3; he is also the National Record holder for tournament victories with 129 not including dual meet tourneys. Jim has been chosen Coach of the Year 11X's. In 1983, Campbell's Soup chose Coach Husk National Coach of the Year. From 1985 through 1989 Jim served on the National Rules Committee for Wrestling. Coach Husk was the National Wrestling Coaches Association Regional Coach of the Year 2X'S, he was also chosen Coach of the Year for the Dairy Farmers in the years of 2000 and 2001. Coach Husk has been inducted in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma. During 2002 Jim was inducted to the Florida High School Activities Association Hall of Fame, and was Wrestling USA Magazines National Runner-up for Coach of the Year.
In 2003, Jim was given one of his most prestigious awards when he was chosen to coach the 7th Annual Wrestling USA Magazine/ Cliff Keen Dream Team Classic Coach for the USA against the Iowa Individual State Champions.
Coach Husk's career has spanned over five decades starting in the 1960's. And now coming to an end in 2004. Jim is the only Coach to coach at every Florida State Wrestling Championship that has been held since the school year of 1964-1965. He has given his life to the youth of South Florida and the Wrestling Community and he will be greatly missed.
SOUTHRIDGE DREAM TEAM LINE-UP
103 EDDIE BLUE 2X SC
112 DONNIE GLENN 2X SC
119 CORTEZ JONES SC
125 J.P. PORTWOOD 3X SC
130 KEVIN STEWART SC
135 ORAEFO BROWN SC
140 DAVID PALMORE SC
145 MIKE RIO 2X SC
152 RALPH EVERETT 3X SC
160 ELIJAH DUKES SC
171 CARLOS WEST 2X SC
189 CHARLES ANDERSON 2X SC
215 CORY WOODBERRY SC
275 TOM FEACHER 2X SC
Stuart Mahler is the assistant coach for the Spartan Express Wrestling Club.