Jody KaramJody Karam has resigned after 26 seasons as head wrestling coach at Liberty High School in Bethlehem, Pa.
Karam built a record of 362-150-1 at the helm of the Hurricane mat program, making him the winningest head coach of any sport in the Bethlehem Area School District (BASD).
While at Liberty, Karam could claim 26 District 11 champions, 18 regional champs, 31 state placers and one state champ: Andrew Gunning, in 2016. For those accomplishments, Karam was named Coach of the Year six times.
Here's how Coach Karam announced his plans to leave coaching and concentrate on his real estate career on Twitter:
Thanks to the former wrestlers and parents that enabled me to be the coach I was able to become. Today I resigned from a passion, not just as a wrestling coach. I love you all! #Relationships #RealEstateAndRacing�" Jody Karam (@jodykaram) July 27, 2019
When asked why he was concluding his coaching career, Karam told LehighValleyLive.com, "It's a culmination of things. I have been having thoughts (of resigning) the last three or four years and this was probably the right time to do this."
Here's how LehighValleyLive's Brad Wilson described the about-to-retire coach and his wrestlers: "Jody Karam's vision for Liberty High School wrestling never changed -- tough, gritty kids battling ferociously for themselves, their teammates, their school, and their community."
"What wrestling teaches is that it can take time to be successful," Karam said. "Kids today are used to immediate gratification; put something on social media and immediately see how many 'likes' it gets. Wrestling's not like that. It takes time and dedication and improvement to become successful, and I enjoy teaching that to kids."
Even coaches of competitive programs were impressed.
"I really admire what Jody Karam has done at Liberty," said Jon Trenge, newly installed head coach at nearby Parkland High School, his alma mater. "They are tough, they are fighters, they never take injury time. If you let up against a Liberty wrestler for a second, you got beat."
BASD superintendent Dr. Joseph Roy said, "Coach Karam built a program that grows young men of character. Sportsmanship, integrity, loyalty and dedication are traits Coach Karam taught and are traits that serve our wrestlers well in their adult lives."
A search for Karam's replacement will begin immediately.