High school wrestling coach also coaches bass team

New Independence wrestling coach hopes to also reel-in bass masters

AJ Villarreal’s primary job is to coach Independence wrestling.

He was hired to take over the Eagles’ program last week after spending the past year as a wrestling assistant at nearby Centennial, and he knows all about the culture built by former Independence coach Jeff Grindstaff.

“That’s a huge thing to have a long history (of tradition),” Villarreal said of Grindstaff, who led the Eagles to nine dual state tournament appearances and coached six individual state champions. “When you go to their tournaments and events, their parents, the support, from the kids club to the principals is what made it so enticing.”

But Villarreal hopes to cast a net beyond wrestling at Indy.

If possible, he wants to replicate the fishing club he started and grew to roughly 35 members at Centennial. Club teams often co-op with other schools, meaning a new fishing club at Independence could potentially partner with Centennial’s.

Villarreal, 25, got into competitive fishing while playing football at University of Wisconsin La Crosse. His college team competed within Fishing League Worldwide, now Major League Fishing….Full Story