Starbuck retiring after 17 years as Olathe’s wrestling coach

Harvey Starbuck left a legacy on the mat for the Olathe Pirates, coaching 10 state champions - including Zach Shank this year. Starbuck retired Thursday after 17 years as Olathe’s head coach.

The Western Slope high school wrestling community lost one of the good ones.

Thursday, Olathe High School head coach Harvey Starbuck announced he was stepping down from his position with the Pirates wrestling team.

“Coach Starbuck is one of those coaches where he’s everything you want in a coach,” Olathe Athletic Director Joe Archuleta said. “He had a great rapport with the community and the kids.

“He’s done a great job here.”

Starbuck just finished his 35th season of coaching prep wrestling, and his 17th as head coach at Olathe.

“He said it was time to retire,” Archuleta said. “He wants to spend more time with his family and grandchildren.”

Starbuck started his coaching career at Roaring Fork before coming to Olathe, where he was an assistant for 12 seasons, before taking over the head coaching reins in 1994.

During Starbuck’s 17 seasons as head coach, he had 10 state champions — including Ty Gray in 2000 and 2001 and Tom Kutzner in 2004.

Starbuck also led the Pirates to a state team championship in 2005. He was selected the National Federation of High School Associations (NFHS) Southwest Sectional Wrestling Coach of the Year in 2005 as well.

Olathe has won the past seven Class 3A Western Slope League titles under Starbuck, and finished top five at the state tournament seven of the past eight season.

This past season, Olathe finished fifth in the 3A state wrestling tournament with five state placers, including state champion Zach Shank at 125 pounds.

Olathe also had wrestlers Kyle Piatt and Trenton Piatt both finish in the top five in state.

“He’s left quite a legacy,” Archuleta said.


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