Wrestling: Trumbull’s Charlie Anderson reaches coaching milestone

Coach Charlie Anderson’s Trumbull High team earned him his 300th coaching win.
Photo: David G. Whitham / For Hearst Connecticut Media

Trumbull High head coach Charlie Anderson walked across the edge of the wrestling mat to shake hands with Stamford High’s Jaime Camacho.

Before he could return to his team after the Eagles’ victory, Anderson was stopped short by Trumbull Athletic Director Mike King.

King announced to the Senior Night crowd that the win was Anderson’s 300th in his career.

A large contingent of Trumbull wrestlers held up signs with 300 written on them.

Jon Kosak, a team captain, brought out a banner commemorating the event.

“It was nice,” Anderson said. “I want to thank everyone. I appreciate being appreciated.”

Anderson has Trumbull ranked No. 4 in the most recent Connecticut Wrestling Online’s Top 10 high school wrestling poll.

The Eagles will take a 25-5 record into this weekend’s FCIAC championships to be held at New Canaan High.

“Just when I thought I was out they pull me back in,” Anderson joked, going with Michael Corleone’s line from The Godfather: Part 3 to describe his journey. “I must be a repeat offender.”

Norwalk High was where Anderson earned his coaching bones, as it were.

After eight years as head coach with the Bears, he came to Trumbull High and led the locals for five seasons before stepping aside. After four years off for good behavior, Anderson returned to coaching for the 2016-17 season.

When asked if he had a code he coached by, Anderson was quick to answer.

“It’s not a big secret that to be good, the best way to get things done is hard work,” he said. “You can spend so much time looking for the easy answer, when the answer is short — nothing beats hard work.”

Ben Anderson, one of the programs most accomplished wrestler, is Charlie’s son and his assistant coach.

“To show class on the mat. Win or lose in that circle, you do it with class,” he said of his dad’s top priority. “He tells the kids it’s not about numbers or accolades, wrestling is about the experience. It’s about what you get out of the sport.

“We have FCIACs coming up and when he came back to coaching, he found out that the wrestlers thought that was the end all. He wants them to do well at FCIACs, but to see it as a step and for them to look forward to states, the State Open and then New Englands.

“The last thing he wants is for one of his kids to limit themselves, to not accomplish the possible.”

Speaking out

Danbury High head wrestling coach Ricky Shook, who led his team to its eight consecutive FCIAC title a year ago, had this to say: “Charlie is one of the best, and most respected coaches in the state. I’m sure a lot more (wins) will come.”

Fairfield Warde’s Jason Shaughnessy, who earned his 400th win earlier this season, said: “I remember Charlie from his days at Norwalk. He was a great coach then and is a great coach now. Charlie really connects with kids and always gets the most out of his teams. I am honored to be entering the Connecticut chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame with Charlie this May.”

Foran High’s Dave Esposito, who has guided his Lions to a pair of Class M championships in the past three seasons, said: “Charlie is a great coach and great role model for me and other coaches across the state. He manages a huge roster and is able to keep all of his wrestlers engaged and committed and ready to step into a varsity role when their turn arises.

“He always puts out a high quality team, that is tough and technically sound. Charlie will be inducted into the CT Wrestling Hall of Fame this year and it is certainly well deserved. It has been an honor to compete against him and his team year after year.”