By Shirley Shuman
Sterling Beane first became involved in wrestling at the urging of his Glenville State College roommates to whom he refers as “the Mills brothers.” The brothers were among those trying to start a wrestling team at GSC. He recently described how that went. “One evening they came into the room and asked me if I’d like to be on the wrestling team. ‘We need a heavyweight,’ they told me. I’d never wrestled, but they were persuasive so I decided I’d try it,” he said. Nearly sixty years later, Coach Beane, who last season coached his 50th BCHS wrestling team, will be honored by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, West Virginia Chapter. He and five other dedicated men will be honored at the “Hall of Fame” banquet and ceremony.
The purpose of this banquet, scheduled for 1 p.m. at Embassy Suites, Charleston, WV, “is to honor and recognize people for their years of commitment as positive role models to our student athletes.” The announcement of the banquet and those being honored said “These individuals have given countless hours of their time instilling in young people the skills needed to succeed in all areas of life. They will be permanently recognized at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum in Stillwater, Oklahoma.” In addition to Beane, those being honored at the banquet include Mark Deligatti, Bobby Pruett, Arden Sansom, Pat Sole, and William Whittington.
Beane’s career as a high-school wrestling coach began in 1972-73 when he asked the BCHS athletic director, Roy J. Brosius, if he could start a wrestling team at the high school. “He told me he’d buy uniforms for a team if I could earn money for a wrestling mat. I did and we began the wrestling program at the high school which will soon be in its 51st year,” Beane said.
His accomplishments as a coach number many. These include 14 regional championships and seven runner-up finishes. His teams have finished in the top 10 in state tournaments 17 times and in 2020, the Eagles finished second in the state. In addition, his teams have won 15 conference championships, and he has had 101 state placers with six state champions and 20 runners-up.
Other honors include Conference Coach of the Year, Regional Coach of the Year, and WV Athletic Director’s Coach of the Year several times. He was the NFHS Coach of the Year in 2003-04 and received the Kenny Wright Boys Coach of the Year award in 2016-17.
While Sterling Beane is proud of his achievements and the honors he has received during the past 50 years coaching wrestling, he maintains that those honors don’t belong to him alone. “The wrestling program has been a family thing,” he said. “In addition to Judy and Sterling and Monica, many people have worked hard as volunteers. This has not been a ‘one-man show.’ It has been the whole community. Any honors I receive also honor the county.”