Perhaps News & Observer high school sports writer Tim Stevens already said it best when he wrote that former Cary wrestling head coach Jerry Wintertons win-loss record looked like a typo.
Winterton was 540-3 overall in regular-season dual meets at Cary. If you include the playoffs, the Imps went 620-16 in his 29-year run. Overall Winterton also coached for a short time at East Wake High he went 642-34.
Couple that with 11 state tournament championships and eight state dual-team crowns, throw in other mind-boggling stats like 166 consecutive tournament wins, 28 consecutive conference championships, 265 consecutive home regular-season wins and going undefeated in regular-season dual meets in 27 of 29 years, and it becomes easy to recognize: Winterton is one of the best coaches North Carolina has ever seen.
Winterton was honored accordingly last week when the N.C. High School Athletic Association, in its 100th year of existence, provided a list of the top 100 coaches.
Its very humbling to be around all those big names, said Winterton, listing Broughton tennis coach Steve Spivey, Sanderson soccer coach Bob Catapano and others.
Winterton was one of three coaches who made the list for their records in wrestling. The other two were Bill Mayhew of South Iredell and Mike Raybon of Jamestown Ragsdale.
Ive known both of them for years and years, and theyre both great guys, Winterton said.
One of Wintertons biggest joys was to coach all three of his kids: sons Logan (a state title winner) and Ronnie and daughter Amber.
Since retiring as the head coach after the 2009-10 season, Winterton has stayed at Cary as an assistant to Taylor Cummings.
Its the perfect situation for me. Taylor and I work together so well weve never had a cross word between us, Winterton said.
Winterton is a 10-time N.C. coach of the year award-winner and two-time national coach of the year.
One of Wintertons key principles was to work with as many kids as possible and not turn anyone away.
In previous interviews, he has talked about not letting freshmen or sophomores think he was trying to run them off. He made his seniors accountable by expecting them to help coach the younger wrestlers.
What grew from it was the best wrestling program the state had ever seen.
Its amazing how things fell into place. I met good people and was directed in the right direction by good people, Winterton said.