Keith Sieracki has resigned as the Woodland Park High School wrestling coach.
Sieracki, 48, is leaving the program due to an upcoming move with his family to Austin, Texas. His wife, Heather, has accepted an executive position with a healthcare company.
“On some levels I’m ready to move on,” Keith Sieracki said. “I have three young boys who are starting get into wrestling and I want to travel to their tournaments and watch them wrestle. I want to help out if I can.”
Sieracki’s boys are Keagan (age 12), Logan (9) and Gavin (5).
Sieracki had been Woodland Park’s head coach since the 2012-13 season. Prior to that, he was an assistant for one year with the program under Bill Barron.
Under Sieracki’s leadership, a Panther has wrestled in the state tournament every season. The last two years, Brady Hankin won state championships at 106 pounds and 120 pounds, respectively. Hankin is just a sophomore.
“Brady is such a focused and committed kid,” Sieracki said of Hankin. “It’s going to be exciting as he goes for four state championships. I know he can do it. I’m going to show up at the state tournament and watch him from the stands.”
Sieracki worked tirelessly to build the program. He founded Sieracki’s Mat Masters Wrestling club and also worked with the Woodland Park Middle School program.
“I have so many guys I’m leaving. It’s bittersweet,” Sieracki said. “I have so many guys I’ve grown close to over the years like Garrick Arias, Cole Gray, Jake Garner and Brad Conlin. I will miss them all.”
Sieracki appreciates all the support he had over the years.
“I want to thank the Woodland Park School District, the community, the parents, and most of all the kids,” he said. “Leaving them is the hardest part for me.”
Sieracki has been in the Colorado Springs area since 1997. He retired from wrestling in 2009. Two years after that he retired from the army as a Sergeant First Class after a nearly 21-year career that included a tour of duty in Afghanistan.
Sieracki was a high school state champion in Wisconsin. He joined the Army World Class Athletes Program at Fort Carson in 1991 after serving in the Gulf War. His accomplishments include winning the U.S Olympic Team Trials in 2000 and 2004, finishing second in 1996 and third in 2008; six-time Armed Forces champion; four-time U.S. national champion.
Sieracki is one of the most decorated American Greco-Roman wrestlers ever to compete for an Olympic team. Although qualified for the 2000 and 2004 games, he was removed each time due to appeals and technicalities.
“At one time I would say he had one of the best straight lifts in the world,” Sieracki’s younger brother, Aaron, has said. Aaron was also part of the Army World Class Training program at Fort Carson.
Woodland Park athletic director Joe Roskam has not yet started a search for Sieracki’s replacement.
“Keith will be missed, for sure,” Roskam said. “He’s awesome.”
Sieracki has nominated his top assistant coach, Casey Hankin (Brady’s dad) as his replacement.
“He knows wrestling and he knows the avenues to get the kids to the top,” Sieracki said of Casey Hankin. “I don’t think there’s a better fit out there.”