Perry High School is in search for a new head coach of its legendary wrestling program.
As first reported by Skordle.com, former Maroons’ coach Ronnie Delk left the program – and the state – to become an assistant wrestling coach at Bentonville (Arkansas) High School with Delk being approved by their school board Monday. Bentonville wrestling competes in Class 6A in Arkansas – the state’s largest classification – and won the 2019 state championship by nearly 100 points.
Delk became the first Perry High head wrestling coach who did not wrestle within the Maroons program since 1931. He was a two-time state champion for Collinsville and competed for John Smith with the Oklahoma State wrestling program.
Delk was an assistant coach at Perry for five years under Hall of Fame coach Scott Chenoweth – who ran the Perry wrestling program for 16 years – before taking the reigns for the 2011-12 school year.
In his first year at the helm, Perry witnessed an end to its eight-year reign as state champions, finishing second to rival Blackwell by 38 points. The Maroons would right the ship and go on to win five state titles over the past seven years – finishing second in back-to-back years to Plainview in 2015-16 – and brought the program’s total to a state-best 43 state titles.
During Delk’s time at the helm, Perry churned out 16 individual state champions with three this past season in Ryan Smith (113), Dylan Avery (132) and Hadyn Redus (152) – each of which became two-time state champs.
A message left for comment with PHS athletics director Brandon Hight was not returned as of press time Monday evening.