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Longtime Lakeshore wrestling coach retires after 52 years

Published: Apr. 1, 2022 at 11:01 PM EDT
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STEVENSVILLE, Mich. (WNDU) - The winningest high school wrestling coach in the state of Michigan is hanging up his hat.

Bruce Bittenbender has been the lifeblood of the Lakeshore High wrestling program for more than five decades... and on Friday evening: friends, family, and former wrestlers came out to the school to see Coach off into the sunset.

“It just makes me feel great,” says Bittenbender, whose 981 career wins rank 2nd nationally. “The turnout tonight was just phenomenal. The people have opened up their hearts thanking me, and I totally appreciate it.”

Bittenbender is leaving the program in the hands of former assistant coach Ryan Quinn -- and while it’s certainly a sizable set of shoes to fill, Quinn says he’s already learned plenty from working with Bittenbender in the past year.

“I’ve learned a lot,” says Quinn. “With a guy who’s not in one, not in two... (but) three wrestling hall of fames -- you pick his brain and you try to get all the information that you need.”

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