Coach Tom Beuglas Interview: 3-22-2016
In 2009, Archer High School opened its doors to Gwinnett County students from the Loganville, Lawrenceville and Dacula areas. In just four short years, varsity wrestling coach Tom Beuglas has turned the new high school into a multiple state champion title winner, no small feat. The team has not lost a match in over four years. I caught up with the coach to get his perspective on the sport and how he prepares his young athletes for the mat and the classroom.
GW: How long have you been coaching?
TB: 23 years, 16 at Parkview High School and 7 at Archer (since it opened) and I have also coached 9th grade football for 23 years as well
GW: What division/league does Archer High School compete in?
TB: Archer competes in 6A, the largest classification in Georgia. Region 8
(Grayson, S. Gwinnett, C. Gwinnett, Dacula, Shiloh, Brookwood,
GW: What are the ages of the athletes you coach?
TB: Grades 9 through 12-. Varsity wrestling
GW: How did your guys do last season? Your record and highest
achievement and ranking?
TB: We won our 4th straight State Championship. We have not lost a match
since January 2012 - 96 wins in a row.
We were ranked nationally #33 in 2013, #5 in 2014, #8 in 2015, and #16
Our state finishes have been (ranking) 54, 11, 3, 1, 1, 1, 1 since the school
GW: What was the high point of the season?
TB: The high point in the season was winning the State Duals in January in
spite of having 4 starters (including 2 nationally ranked wrestlers)
out with injuries.
GW: What was the low point of the season?
TB: The low point of the season was all of the injuries we had, of our 14
starters, 9 missed time at some point in the season with injuries.
We had 3 seniors that suffered season ending injuries before our
season ended. I felt bad for them, they worked really hard but were
not able to compete at the State Tournament.
GW: Obviously your team has a rigorous in- season training program, how
would you describe the off -season training program?
TB: We have weight training class (just wrestlers) for an hour a day, so we
lift as a team every day all year (M-F). We start official practice
the last week of October and practice wrestling daily from 2:30 - 5pm
through the state tournament in February. We resume wrestling when
school gets out for summer and wrestle the entire month of June. A
lot of our kids also wrestle in the all at TWA (The Wrestling
GW: So the athletes are involved with year round conditioning/training?
TB: All of our varsity wrestlers train year round (at least lift weights).
Some lift and wrestle all year, but all of them lift weights with
occasional agility / speed work.
GW: Do you suggest any special dieting on and off season? If so
what are they?
TB: In the off season we work on getting stronger, so our kids diet consists
of high protein intake with high carbs and limited fats.
In season, when the kids have to make weight, we keep our calories
lower, with our carbs higher so our kids have energy to compete.
GW: What is the main emphasis of training in-season?
TB: Off season training is mostly strength training, putting on muscle and
In season is mostly endurance training and working on conditioning and
GW: What is the most difficult part of coaching for you?
TB: Coaching is very time consuming, we travel almost every weekend for 4
months, so the toughest part to me is trying give my best to the
team, and still finding the time to spend with my family as well as
do the best I can teaching my classes (I teach 6 classes a day). It
is exhausting, on Sundays I rest, then Monday morning at 4:45 am, I
get up and do it all over again each week. The State tournament is
the high point of the season, but when it is over, it takes around a
month to fully recover and get back to a normal teaching schedule.
People do not realize how many hours coaches put in, dealing with
fundraising, booster clubs, expenses, eligibility, college coaches,
discipline issues, etc... It can very easily overwhelm you. One
person cannot run a good program by himself.
GW: What are the “bright sides” of coaching your teams?
TB: I think the most rewarding thing for me has been the relationships I
have formed over the years. You get to know the kids on your team on
a much deeper level than the kids in your class. You get to know
their families, and when they succeed it is very rewarding.
GW: What is your advice for future wrestlers or students who might
be interested in a wrestling program?
TB: I would say it is a very tough, but very fair sport. Do not try
wrestling if you are not willing to commit 100% of your time and
energy into it. You do not get good overnight, and being a great
athlete does not mean you will be a great wrestler. Most of my top
kids have a tremendous work ethic in everything they do. They work
hard in the weight room, work hard in the wrestling room, and hard in
the classroom. They only know one way to do things, the right way,
there are no shortcuts to success in wrestling. It is the most fair
sport there is. You will only get back the effort you put into it.
You don’t have to be 6 foot 4, you don’t have to run a 4.4 40 yard
dash. You have to be mentally tough, and willing to put the work in.
If you have good coaches and a good attitude about working hard, you
can have some level of success.
GW: What would be a “wish I/we could do this” be for your team?
TB: Our teams here at Archer have experienced tremendous success (4 State
Championships in a row, national rankings, college scholarships).
Wrestling fans all over the country recognize (Archer, Ga) as a
wrestling powerhouse. I feel very fortunate to have been a part of
such a great experience, and I could not have wished for anything
GW:Coach Beuglas, thank you for your time and for turning these young men of yours into champions not only of the mat but for life as well! Good luck to you next season!
Click the link below for access to the Archer High School wrestling schedule. The Fall season of 2016-2017 schedule will be updated this summer.