ORLANDO, Fla. — Montanans understand the impact Sidney wrestling coach Guy Melby has had on the sport. Now the nation does, as well.
Melby, the longtime mentor of the Eagles, was inducted into the AAU Wrestling hall of fame last week at the AAU Scholastic Duals, also known as the Disney Duals. It was the latest accolade in his coaching career, which spans more than three decades and includes nine Class A state championships and more than 60 individual state champion wrestlers at Sidney.
“It was quite an honor. It’s quite a humbling experience. The AAU is a pretty big governing body. They usually have 150 teams (at the Disney Duals), but I think there (were) 168 teams here, and as you can hear in the background, it’s a little chaotic,” Melby told MTN Sports last week. “It’s an honor to be inducted into the AAU National Coaches Hall of Fame. It’s quite humbling to get that award and it’s one of those things, I had to speak a little bit at a banquet, you start to pick a hall of fame wrestling guy from Sidney, Montana and it’s pretty tough because there are a lot of people involved in our program and they all do a great job. I’m proud to be a part of it and it was a very fun banquet.”
Humble and quick to credit assistant coaches and the athletes in the program, Melby didn’t shed light on his induction during an MTN Sports trip to Sidney recently. Instead, he boasted about the kids and their dedication over the past 32 years.
After nine state titles, the most recent last winter in Billings, and dozens of all-state individuals, it’s hard to not imagine the accolades, championships and accomplishments in Melby’s career. But did he ever imagine in his wildest dreams his coaching resume would look like this?
“Absolutely not, man. We have a young kid here that’s helping us coach, we have the two teams down here, and the young kid is part of our alumni. He came up to me and said, ‘Hey, Melbs, I got my second win, I’m catching you,'” he laughed. “To win 508 dual wins, to have everything that goes with it, I never imagined when I started that it would happen. Like I tell everybody, ‘You hang around for 33 years and you better get some stuff done.’ We’ve been doing it, but it’s been a great team effort. We’ve had a lot of great coaches, a lot of great community members and a lot of great kids come through our program. That’s what helps us out.”
Melby says he was joined in the hall of fame induction by another coach, referee, administrator and wrestler, Kyle Snyder, the youngest Olympic gold medalist and world champion in United States history.
Sidney, which sent two teams and more than 50 athletes to the AAU Scholastic Duals, earned a berth in the silver pool championship, defeating VA Team Cobra 46-23.