Grillo honored by Holley for 700 wins as wrestling coach

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 9 February 2016 at 12:00 am

Photo by Kristina Gabalski – Holley Middle School/High School Principal Susan Cory presents head wrestling coach John Grillo with the February Soaring to New Heights Award.

HOLLEY – John Grillo, Holley’s head wrestling coach, was recognized during Monday evening’s Board of Education meeting for his milestone 700th win, which came Jan. 20 in a Genesee Region League match hosted at Lyndonville High School.

Grillo was presented with the “Soaring to New Heights” award by Holley Middle School/High School Principal Susan Cory. Grillo’s 700 wins are the most of any wrestling coach in New York State.

“This is huge,” Cory said. “John has given a lot of dedication to the wrestling program.”

Grillo has coached wrestling for more than 40 years, 30 of those at Holley. He also coached at Pavilion Central School. His Holley Hawk wrestlers have won 20 Genesee Region League titles and 11 Section V championships. Grillo was named Genesee Region Coach of the Year 15 times and Section V Coach of the Year six times.

Grillo, who also teaches physical education at Holley, coached his three sons over the years – Ashley John, Adam and Andrew – who continue to assist their dad in coaching the Holley wrestling teams. Ashley is now Elementary Assistant Principal at Holley and Andrew is a grade K-12 physical education teacher at Holley.

“We didn’t have a winning season until you joined us,” Board member John Heise said and noted Grillo has also worked over the years to help students who have been struggling academically as well those with discipline issues. “After they talked to you, the behavior stopped.”

“You’ve helped a lot of kids,” Board President Brenda Swanger told Grillo. “We appreciate all you have done for the kids.”

Grillo thanked students, parents and school staff. “Your support is part of it,” he said of his accomplishment.

In other business, Assistant Superintendent for Business Sharon Zacher reported to board members regarding the tax cap for the 2016/2017 budget. Zacher said the state must be notified by March 1 as to whether or not the district thinks it will need to override the tax cap.

With the allowed carryover, Zacher estimated the increase on the 2016/2017 tax levy to be capped at 2.173 percent. Board members agreed that they did not foresee a need to override that figure.

Superintendent Robert D’Angelo said during his report that the governor’s proposal for school districts is “ridiculously low.” However, he noted that Holley is in “pretty good shape.”

“I have a sense of optimism,” D’Angelo said, which stems from assurances he has received from State Assemblyman Steve Hawley and Sen. Robert Ortt that there will be “a huge difference between what the governor is proposing (in aid) and what members of the State Senate and Assembly arrive at.”

He said local superintendents have made it clear to state lawmakers that, “the proposed aid to education is unacceptable at this point.”

Although D’Angelo had wanted lawmakers to take real steps to provide relief from unfunded mandates, he said Monday evening that at this point he does not see that coming.

“They are not serious about it,” he said of lawmakers. “It hurts both the districts and the taxpayers.”

Holley Central will continue to monitor the state budget process in relation to its own budget development, D’Angelo said.