Coach Cunningham to Lead Wrestling at GEHS

The Sport Teaches Life Lessons, He Says


Coach Sean Cunningham and his family. He will lead the GEHS wrestling team next year.

Drops of sweat fall on the mat as a battle to either pin or win by points takes place. Wrestling is not just about strength, it is also about grit and mindset. When one steps out on the mat, it is not only a battle against the opponent, but also against themselves. Now they have a new feat to conquer in taking on the birth of a program. The split is imminent, so the district has gone out and found the right person to lead the first Gretna East boys wrestling team in Mr. Sean Cunningham.
Coach Cunningham has lived all around the midwest. He was born in Kansas City, Missouri, but lived the majority of his life in Casper, Wyoming. He graduated from Kelly Walsh High School in Wyoming and moved to Washington to play junior college (JUCO) baseball. He then transferred to Hastings College in Nebraska. Following this, he became a teacher, which he has been for the past 26 years. He has also been a coach in almost every sport including football, softball, baseball, track and wrestling. Coach Cunningham has stuck to wrestling because of many factors that help the kids later on in life.
“The biggest thing that intrigues me about wrestling is just the life lessons that can be learned,” Coach Cunningham said. “Everyone puts so much emphasis on winning and losing, when it’s more about what the individual goes through to try to prepare for those matches.”
Experience is key for many, and Coach Cunningham has that. He has been the assistant wrestling coach at Aspen Creek Middle School and now has the opportunity to lead a program. Not only does he personally know a lot about wrestling, but so does his family. His son Tyler, who is also known as Turbo, wrestles on the U.S. Greco and U23 World Team wrestling teams. Turbo has also been an assistant wrestling coach at Bellevue West and Gretna. His daughter Haleigh teaches at Axtell High School in central Nebraska and also coaches wrestling. His youngest son, Cameron, is working around Gretna right now. His two sons will also be helping him coach at Gretna East.
Outside of coaching and teaching, Coach Cunningham enjoys the simple things. He loves going back to his home state of Wyoming and just spending time with his family in the mountains and forest. The time away is something he looks forward to and is an escape from the city life. But when he gets back to Nebraska he has his two passions in coaching and teaching. Similar to every coach, one thing has continued to stick out and be a key staple for all: culture.
“The biggest thing is going to be creating a new culture and being able to establish that new culture at a new school,” Coach Cunningham said. “There’s going to be some tiny little obstacles and hurdles that we’re going to have to overcome, but I don’t think that going to be anything that we’re not going to be able to overcome.”