GREENWOOD — Even as he was getting ready for his well-deserved Hall of Fame induction as one of the greatest coaches in the history of Indiana high school wrestling, Bellmont Coach Brent Faurote only wanted to talk about his three wrestlers who placed Saturday night at the IHSAA State Finals.
With the dedicated Faurote, already in the Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Asslociation (IHSWCA) hall as a wrestler, it's always about his kids, the ones who are ready to run through walls for him.
"I'm happy to be in and it's neat to be recognized, but it was the individual state tournament I had three guys walk away with medals, and that is what is important. It's their week. I don't want to take away from what the kids did this weekend," said Faurote of fourth placers Ben Baker at 1995 and Brooks Faurote at 145, and seventh place Brad Busse at 182 pounds.
"I've coached with Faurote for 19 years now and he's had an amazing run, but what counts is all the stuff that he's done for kids and the work that he's put into it. That's what stands the test," said BHS Assistant Coach Paul Gunsett at the wrestling coaches Hall of Fame banquet Sunday.
Bellmont had two inductees into the hall. Tim Myers, an 11-year assistant, was pulled in as a wrestler, and one of the great ones. Myers earned two state titles to go with his runnerup medal and a sixth-place medal. He went an amazing 155-7 with 106 falls.
"It's an honor, it really is, but I have mixed emotions," admitted Myers, always his own worst critic.
"Coming in the goal was to get four (state titles) and become a Hawkeye. But I got two and wrestled for IU, though my coach had wrestled for Iowa, and that was the next best thing," said Myers.
Myers was also the leader on Faurote's lone state championship team in 1994. He left a year of eligibility on the table at IU to come back to Decatur and begin giving back as a Bellmont coach.
"Because it's a passion," explained Myers. "It really is. When you get this in your blood, your Bellmont blood, that's it. It's hard work, but once you instill that in somebody it's life long. It is so much fun.
"You can't put this into words. I love it. That's why I came back," added Myers.
It's also family, and it's easy to see that the Bellmont coaches families are deeply rooted together.
"It's obvious that B.J.'s a hall of fame coach, the way he's established what we have. But it's never been his way or the highway. He's willing to see our points of view on things. Even with his son this past two weeks, he wanted me to go with Brooks, and that's not easy for a dad because you're watching over your son. It's a very important week, so that was an honor to work with Brooks," said Myers.
Faurote's numbers at Bellmont are mind-boggling. In the 24 years since he took over for Denny Hays, Bellmont went 524-58 with what has to be one of the toughest schedules in the state year after year. His team has the second longest Sectional winning streak, currently at 22, and his teams have won 16 team Regionals and after this next week at Center Grove he will have coached 15 teams at the IHSAA Team State meet.
Of his 61 state placers, seven won state titles. Three of his teams were runnersup. And, in the respect division ... well, he's No. 1.
"He works harder than anybody else," praised Gunsett.
"He'll do anything for those kids, and the kids see that. He picks up for them and does what he can for every kid, but he'll also keep them in line. If they step out of line, he'll let them know it. He tries to keeps his thumb on them, but he also shows that he's a quality person and he lives his life the right way. He's a great example and he expects the same out of our kids," described Gunsett, who was inducted into the coaches Hall in 2008.
"And the kids won't go anywhere without those high standards and high goals. That's the secret."
Despite an ever-toughening state wrestling tournament, the Bellmont kids seem to adapt and the placements keep coming.
"They've got to know what they have to do to get to this level. Wins and losses don't mean a whole lot, but our tough schedule helps tremendously. It's how you do at the end of the year, that's what we try and prepare out kids so they can go as far as they can in the tournament. For one kid it might be to the Regional, another kid it might be a State title," Faurote said.
"That's one thing I'm proud of, we have a good relationships on and off the mat with our kids. When they're done, many of them come back up to the room just to be there with us. That's what has been fun over the years, developing those friendships," said the Bellmont coach, who will put his Braves up against Evansville Mater Dei next Saturday in the final Team State Wrestling Tournament.
Bellmont's consistent run as a top team in the state has been amazing.
"That's one thing I'm very proud of. A small 3A school, with 750 kids, to maintain that consistency over the years ... we're very pleased. I'm getting recognized today, going in as a coach, but it's because of all the help I had over the years. (The late) John Friedt was with me every year except this year —unfortunately, he passed away last year — and he was with me through all the wins, and Phil Thieme helped me out for years. Tim's been in there for 11 years, Paul's been in there 19 years. Our program is that consistent because we have coaches who are consistent," praised Faurote.
The coach is high on Myers. "Not only is he Bellmont's best, he's also right up there with some of the best to come out of Indiana wrestling. He came back to be an assistant for me, returned to our community. I'm going in (the Hall) but it was because of the people I surrounded myself with," said Faurote.
"You look at any successful program, and the coaches are surrounded by good people. I can't say enough about the men I've worked with over the years."
And they say plenty about him.