Jake Yost will be McCallie's head wrestling coach for the 2018-19 school year. Yost will fill the role held by Mike Newman for the past 10 years. Newman is stepping down as the head coach but will remain with the program as an assistant coach.
Under Newman, more than 23 McCallie wrestlers have earned individual state titles, including five state champions in each of the past two seasons. As a team, the Blue Tornado has been state runner up in the TSSAA traditional tournament for the past two years and was also runner up in the state duals in 2017.
“I am excited about this great opportunity to become McCallie's head wrestling coach,” Yost said. “Thankfully, Coach Newman has agreed to continue to be a part of the coaching staff. His passion for wrestling and decades of coaching experience will continue to be a tremendous asset for the program, and I am fortunate to work with him and the rest of the accomplished and committed coaching team.”
Newman made the decision to step into an assistant role so that he can continue to assist with the Blue Tornado football program and perform other duties at the school.
“We are certainly grateful to Mike for the outstanding job he did in overseeing the wrestling program,” said Dean of Athletics Jeff Romero. “He did so with class, compassion, integrity, and unselfishness. Jake possesses the same coaching and character qualities as Mike, so the change should be seamless and allow wrestling to continue to enjoy the success we have known it to have.”
Yost, who was an assistant with the varsity wrestling team for the past two years, will direct the McCallie wrestling program, which has become a year-round commitment in recent years with regional and national tournaments.
“The McCallie Wrestling program is in great shape, and the future is bright,” Newman said. “We have a solid group returning with nine state medalists, including five State Champions and four National Prep place winners. However, I feel with my other coaching responsibilities at McCallie, it is in the best interest of the program to hand the reins over to Coach Yost at this time. Jake has been an excellent addition to our staff, and I know he will continue to build on the outstanding tradition as its next leader. I look forward to serving as an assistant and helping young men reach their goals.”
McCallie has had success at the national level with strong showings at the National Prep tournament for the past two years. In 2018, four McCallie wrestlers — junior Thomas Sell along with freshmen Alex Whitworth, Christian Morris and Emory Taylor — earned high school All-American status at the National Prep tournament.
“We are so fortunate to have a man like Coach Yost ready to step into this role with McCallie wrestling,” Assistant Headmaster Kenny Sholl said. “Following legendary coaches such as Mike Newman and Gordon Connell might give some young coaches pause, but Jake is up to the task and is excited for the challenge. I can’t wait to see where he will take the program.”
Yost, a two-time high school state champion wrestler at Soddy-Daisy High School and two-time Southern Conference champion at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, has been at McCallie since 2016. He previously was the varsity wrestling coach at Cleveland High School, where he led the Blue Raiders to three TSSAA traditional and dual state championships.
“I am thankful to Lee Burns, Kenny Sholl, Jeff Romero and Mike Newman for entrusting me with this incredible responsibility,” Yost said. “It is a true blessing to be given this opportunity, and I am eager to take on the job and do all I can to reward that trust. We will continue to develop not just great wrestlers and fierce competitors, but also young men of great character and perseverance.”