Thoughts on my friend and wrestling coach, Al Kiddy:
Coach Kiddy came to us from Oklahoma in the early ’60s. He was assistant to the great Bob Warner in football. He really got us in shape. In wrestling, he was determined to fill the shoes of our previous coach, Vernon Brooks.
Kiddy and Brooks were great Okie friends. Coach Kiddy was a fierce competitor, with 94 various tourney championships, 237 wins, and 15 loss record. I was never tired of listening to him talk about our teams, his kids and wrestling holds.
Coach was not only a mentor to me, but to many of us. All of his Valley Champion teams in 1969 and ’70, his individual Valley champs, and a second place finish in the 1975 state championship are legendary in our wrestling world.
Coach worked countless hours making sure all of his wrestlers were prepared for the next match, or for life after sports. For all his efforts, coach has finally been recognized by being inducted into the California State Wrestling Hall of Fame. We talked about this a couple of weeks ago. He was pleased about the news, but was more pleased knowing his kids — Kiddy’s kids — were doing OK.
We lost our coach Sunday, Dec. 15. His memorial and burial were attended by wrestlers, friends, his teacher friends, but regrettably no one from administration past or present attended.
We will miss our Coach Al Kiddy. Though coach may be gone, his spirit and legacy will survive through our sport.
Who was your mentor? One that got you through some rough spots in the road. Your hero — call him, thank him, and remember him.
Thank God for our gift. God bless America
Coach “Corky” Napier,
M.H.S. Wrestling (retired)