CLARK — On Saturday, Jan. 19, Arthur L. Johnson High School Head Wrestling Coach Rick Ortega was named Union County Wrestling Coach of the Year at the U.C.I.A.C. Wrestling Tournament. The annual award honors one county coach for their achievements both on and off the mat. It is voted upon by Union County’s wrestling coaches.
“Rick is a model of what we want and expect from our coaches,” said Supervisor of Athletics, Health, and Physical Education Gus Kalikas. ”In only two short years, Coach Ortega has turned our wrestling program around not only with results, but with numbers as well. He is heavily vested in both the recreation wrestling program in the community of Clark. We are thrilled that he was honored by his peers as the Union County Wrestling Coach of the Year and are extremely proud of his wonderful achievements in the sport of wrestling.”
Ortega, a Governor Livingston alumnus, won the State Championship at 130 pounds as a senior in 1993. He has been involved with the Arthur L. Johnson High School Wrestling Program for the past seven years, the last two as a head coach.
Arthur L. Johnson High School’s wrestlers had a strong showing at the tournament. The team won two individual County Championship bouts behind the efforts of Charlie Hudak (126 pounds) and John Coler (138 pounds). This was the first time in years that Arthur L. Johnson High School has had multiple County Championships in the same year.