Two of Ray Miro's Mount Greylock wrestlers will compete in today's semifinal round of the MIAA state Division III championship. There is no doubt that Miro would like to see both of them win in their respective weight classes.
When the mats get rolled up tonight, Miro will say goodbye to the sport he has been a huge part of at Mount Greylock for the past 25 years.
"Some of the guys would say that I've been quitting since 1995," Miro said with a laugh. "Most coaches go through ups and downs and stuff. I've been starting to think about it four or five years ago, just in a distant thought.
"I thought about continuing just coaching, but I think it's time for a break."
Miro, who is retiring as a teacher at Mount Greylock in June, will step away from the wrestling program he helped grow into one of the top programs in Western Massachusetts.
He and his coaching staff were wearing jackets at this weekend's MIAA state Division III tournament that identified the kind of success that Miro had at Greylock.
The Mounties won 17 Berkshire County championships from 1995-2015, and won six Western Massachusetts titles between 1995 and 2012. The last title for Greylock came in 2012 when the Mounties edged out Hampshire Regional 189 points to 182.
Ask any coach in Western Massachusetts about Ray Miro retiring, and you'll get the same answer. He's going to be missed.
"I graduated in 2009, so he's been there the entire time that I wrestled at Pioneer. He's been a staple every year since my seventh grade year, I've gone to the Mount Greylock Invitational," said Cody Wilson, the head wrestling coach at Frontier Regional. "It's going to be odd, it really is, not to see that presence.
"He's been such a big part of it for such a long time."
Scott Tremlett has been part of the county wrestling scene for nearly as long as Miro. Tremlett used to coach at Monument Mountain and Taconic, and is currently the MIAA Western Massachusetts tournament director. Tremlett is also guiding the activities at Taconic this weekend.
"You knew your kids had to be ready. You knew his kids were going to be wrestling for six minutes, so you had to make sure your kids were also ready to wrestle for six minutes," said Tremlett, when asked what it was like to coach against Miro. "It was a joy. Those kids were tough kids, and you had to make sure you keep going.
"You knew it was going to be tooth-and-nail all the way."
Wrestling is an intense sport, with a lot of very intense and focused athletes. At meets, some coaches are as loud as football coaches on sidelines in the fall. Occasionally, Miro can be heard above the din, but it isn't something he believes is usually a good thing.
"I've toned down quite a bit. When I first started 41 years ago, I got excited," he said. "I was a young kid, but then you learn. I always remember my high school coach, was a great coach. I came home one time and was frustrated. I was yelling at my kids.
"He goes, 'What are you trying to do?' I said that I want people to see my team. He said 'When you're acting like an idiot on the sideline and you're yelling and screaming, who do you think they're looking at?' That just resonated with me."
His daughters might both be relocating to the Phoenix, Arizona area, and Miro said that he and his wife might just follow them.
"The numbers are nice, but in the grand scheme of things, they're not as meaningful as the relationships and that stuff," he said. "That's not coach-speak. That's really what stays with me.
"I feel really fortunate to have had this opportunity."
Contact Howard Herman at 413-496-6253.