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Charles Auto Family’s Getting to Know: Rootstown wrestling coach Craig Wise

Charles Auto Family’s Getting to Know: Rootstown wrestling coach Craig Wise


By Tom Nader

Publisher and Editor


The “Getting to Know” series is designed to help the community learn more about the coaches and administrators that are guiding today’s Portage County student-athletes to be tomorrow’s leaders.

Today, we get to know Rootstown High School wrestling head coach Craig Wise, who is in his 12th year leading the Rovers’ program.


Q: What schools did you attend growing up?

A: Rootstown Elementary, Rootstown Middle and Rootstown High School (Class of 1992). Wrestled all four years and played baseball through sophomore year.


Q: College?

A: Cleveland State University (Class of 1997). Degree in business administration.


Q: Current occupation?

A: Self-employed.

Q: What inspired you to be a coach?

A: I wanted to make a positive impact on young Rover men.


Q: What makes being a coach at Rootstown special to you?

A: It is the place where I grew up.


Q: Who has been your biggest influence as a coach?

A: Dan Gnash. He was my high-school coach and has been on my coaching staff for a long time now. He taught me a lot on and off the mat.


Q: Favorite TV show?

A: The Sopranos.


Q: Favorite movie?

A: Gladiators.


Q: Favorite musical artist?

A: Hank Williams Jr.


Q: Favorite food or meal?

A: Spaghetti.


Q: Best vacation?

A: Cancun with my family.


Q: Favorite motto or quote?

A: Fatigue makes cowards of us all.


Q: Describe your coaching philosophy?

A: Ground and pound.


Q: What does it mean to you to be a Rovers student-athlete?

A: Pride and community.


Q: Favorite restaurant?

A: Arnies.


Q: Favorite teacher from high school?

A: Doug Mori.


Q: Advice you would give the younger version of you?

A: Relax.


Q: Favorite coach from your playing days?

A: Dick Bonacci (college wrestling coach).


Q: Coaching resume?

A: 12th season as head coach of the Rootstown wrestling team.


Q: Favorite sports team?

A: Cleveland Browns.


Q: Favorite athlete then?

A: Bernie Kosar.


Q: Favorite athlete now?

A: Nick Chubb.


Q: First job as a teenager?

A: Growing and selling sweet corn by the side of the road.


Q: Shoutout to former teammates?

A: Birddog.

1 Comment

  1. Debra Roberts December 28, 2022

    He is a great coach. Has done Rootstown Proud. coach Kline had them when in youth. Between the both. Their team is the Best. I would love to see what some of the former coaches are up too these days and what they think about the current coaches and the talent


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