Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

July 13, 2013

Peru's Hobbs earns call from Indiana Wrestling Hall of Fame

Tipton product has been Bengals' coach for 18 years.

Being on track for a hall of fame isn't usually a surprise. Candidates tend to know they're candidates, know if they've been nominated, know if they've got a good chance.

Usually.

That wasn't the case recently when Peru High School wrestling coach Andy Hobbs was elected to the Indiana Wrestling Hall of Fame.

"I was pretty shocked. Pretty shocked," Hobbs said. "I didn't think I'd ever be in that mix."

Hobbs didn't know he was being considered.

"No, I sure didn't," Hobbs said. "Just got a call from the guy that does it and said, 'Congratulations, you've been inducted.'"

Hobbs will be inducted into the hall at a ceremony in February. Hobbs coached Tipton for a season when he was a senior at Ball State, then was an assistant at Princeton for a season and coached in Peru's middle school program for three seasons before moving up to the Bengal Tigers' top position in 1995-96. He's been Peru's coach for 18 seasons.

Over that span, Hobbs has guided Peru to eight Mid-Indiana Conference titles, 11 sectional titles and five regional titles. He's seen 30 wrestlers advance to state, starting with Jason Brown in Hobbs' second year as coach in 1997. From that point on, the Bengals have had at least one wrestler at state every season except one.

"We're pretty proud that we've been able to get kids to the state meet [16 out of 17] years," Hobbs said. "I'm a big program guy. I've always put the program first.

"I think my proudest [moments are] when college gets out and kids stop by when they get home from college. They keep in touch when they get married. I go to a lot of weddings. They'll text me when they're having kids. [I have] great relationships with all the kids that have been through the program. Obviously, it's a good experience for them."

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