NORMAL — Head coaches Dave Baeten of Normal Community and Jim Eaton of Normal West will be honored Thursday at the 5:30 p.m. start of the Intercity Wrestling Meet at University High School.
Baeten and Eaton are retiring at the end of the school year, with both having coached wrestling in Unit 5 schools for more than 30 years. Each will be presented a plaque prior to the start of the meet.
Baeten has been part of the NCHS wrestling staff for 35 years, including the past 20 as head coach.
He has guided the Ironmen to a 305-139-3 dual meet record to become the winningest coach in NCHS history and No. 26 on the all-time state list. He has had 130 wrestlers qualify for sectionals and 25 for state.
Eaton was a standout wrestler at U High, placing second in the state as a senior. He also wrestled at Illinois Wesleyan before becoming head coach at NCHS, where his teams won three regional titles in his 11 seasons.
When Normal West opened in 1995, Eaton moved over and has been the only head wrestling coach in the school’s 20-year existence. His 2007 team won the Big 12 Conference championship and among his state qualifiers was Luke Nohns, who placed fifth at 182 pounds in last year’s state meet.