Wrestling team gets new coach

There might be a new atmosphere in the Oak Harbor High School mat room next winter, but not a new face.

Mike Crebbin, a two-year assistant in the OHHS wrestling program, was hired earlier this week to fill the vacancy of recently-resigned head coach Brian Farmer.

“Already coaching in the program I know the kids and the other coaches,” Crebbin said. “It’s not like the excitement of going to a new coaching job — the exciting part about this is what I can contribute to a program that I already know is successful.”

Before arriving at OHHS in 2002 as an assistant, Crebbin was the head coach at South Whidbey High School from 1996 to 2002. He turned a struggling program around with virtually no coaching experience, while taking wrestlers to state in three of his five years.

“The program was just in a low at the time,” he said. “I was able to have several good athletes and coaches that helped me out.”

Crebbin, who sat out the past high school season after adopting a child, thinks observing Farmer for the previous two seasons will only strengthen his coaching ability when he takes over next winter.

“When I started to coach I kind of learned on my own,” he said. “It was nice taking a step back and watching a great coach like Brian.”

Prior to his coaching career, Crebbin was a high school state wrestling champion in Oregon at 141 pounds and competed Oregon State University before falling victim to injuries. He stayed out of the sport for 10 years after college before taking the coaching job at South Whidbey.

Farmer, who over the last eight seasons took at least one Wildcat to the state meet, opted to step down for a taste of something different.

“In 26 years I don’t know what it’s like to not do something in the winter,” he said.

There’s no doubt, however, that he will miss it.

“I just have always been blessed with great kids, great coaches and great parents,” Farmer said. “Wrestling is a huge family. It’s an individual sport, but it’s also a team sport.”

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