Tate promoted to be wrestling coach for ‘Dogs

Palisade High School didn’t go far to find a wrestling coach.

Athletic Director Mike Krueger promoted longtime assistant Lonnie Tate to head coach Tuesday. Tate, 49, replaces Brian Rush, who resigned in March so he can watch his son participate in sports.

Tate was a Palisade assistant coach for 19 years, including the past nine under Rush. Tate took five years off to watch his son wrestle in middle school and high school.

“When Brian started, I was missing it,” Tate said. “I decided to get back in it.”

When Rush resigned, Tate was interested, but he knew he had to make some changes. Tate is a teacher at Mount Garfield Middle School, owns a peach orchard and coached the Mount Garfield Middle School program for 25 years.

“I couldn’t decide,” Tate said. “I have a busy life. I knew I needed to make some major changes. I have coached kids through middle school.

“You get their attention and don’t want to let go. I contemplated it for quite some time. I figured I’d step in and continue what Brian was doing. Hopefully, we’ll continue that tradition.”

Tate said he wants to do more technique work with the wrestlers and work with football coach Joe Ramunno.

“I think he’ll do well as a head coach,” Rush said of Tate. “The kids will respond extremely well to him. It’s not like he’s a stranger. He’s been a big part of the program.”

Rush said he’ll volunteer and help out at practice when time permits.

The Bulldogs won seven Western Slope League titles, including six in a row, and three region titles in Rush’s nine years.

Rush’s dual record was 157-31.


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