End of an era: Jordan retires as Graham wrestling coach

Jeff Jordan, among the nation’s most celebrated high school wrestling coaches, announced this week he has retired as the coach at Graham.

Jordan said he had been considering retiring but didn’t come to that conclusion until recently.

“Discussing it over with my wife over the past couple of weeks, I’ve decided it is time for me to retire,” he said in a school release. “What I am going to miss most is building the relationships with the student-athletes.”

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Jordan had already cemented his place in Ohio wrestling history by joining older brother Jim Jordan as a four-time state champ at Graham. Both brothers were All-Americans at the University of Wisconsin. Afterward, Jim pursued politics and Jeff returned to Graham’s wrestling program.

Already successful, Graham wrestling jettisoned to a new level of national renown under Jeff Jordan after he succeeded Ron McCunn as head coach in 2001. Graham has won the Division II state title the last 17 seasons, had multiple state champions and was awarded team national championships in 2008, ’10 and ’15.

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Jeff Jordan’s sons, Bo, Micha and Rocky Jordan, also were Falcons standouts. Like their father, Bo and Micah were four-time state champs and Rocky a three-time state champ. Bo and Micah also were All-Americans at Ohio State. Rocky is a freshman with the Buckeyes.

A fiery presence at matches who brought out the best in the Falcons and garnered well-earned respect from opposing coaches and competitors, Jeff Jordan’s intensity as a wrestler and coach can be summed up in his Twitter handle: @rambo_jordan.

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“There has never been an equivalent program in OHSAA sports history in terms of producing individual state champions and team championships,” Graham Local School District Superintendent Kirk Koennecke said. “This is the best, period. We are grateful for all Jeff has done for the Graham and our school community.”

Among the many state and national awards Jeff Jordon has garnered was the Ohio High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1996 and the National Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame (lifetime service award) in 2014.

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“I’ve always told people that I have the greatest job in the world,” Jordan said. “I want to thank Graham for giving me the opportunity to do what I’ve always wanted to do. Most, importantly, I want to thank my wife Amy and three sons Bo, Micah, and Rocky, for sacrificing so much for me to do what I truly love to do.”

No successor has been named. Wrestling preseason begins on Friday, Nov. 9.

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• Assistant Coach under Ron McCunn: 1994-01.

• Graham head coach: 2002-18.

• Team national Championships: 2008, ‘10, ‘15.

• Team state titles: 19, 17 as head coach, two as assistant coach; 1998, 2001-18.

• Individual state champs: 86 (79 as head coach, 7 as assistant).

• State placers: 105.

• Team dual state titles: 16.

• Team district titles: 24.

• District champions: 173.

• Team league titles: 25.

• NCAA All-Americans: 28.

• Ohio High School Wrestling Hall of Fame, 1996.

• National High School Coach of the Year, 2003.

• National Wrestling Coaches Association Coach of the Year, 2005, ‘09.

• National Wrestling Hall of Fame, Lifetime Service Award, 2014.

• Ohio National Wrestling Hall of Fame, 2016.

• GMVWA Hall of Fame Inductee, 2018.

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