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Meet Adam Santee on the Inspiration Coaching can Bring

During his wrestling career, Adam Santee’s accomplishments, beginning at Perry High School in Ohio and extending to his time at Brown University, are impressive by most anyone’s standards. Selected as a captain for the Perry Wrestling team, he twice received ‘All-Ohio’ honors and finished second in the state tournament as a junior, matching the school’s […]

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During his wrestling career, Adam Santee’s accomplishments, beginning at Perry High School in Ohio and extending to his time at Brown University, are impressive by most anyone’s standards. Selected as a captain for the Perry Wrestling team, he twice received ‘All-Ohio’ honors and finished second in the state tournament as a junior, matching the school’s all-time record. Twice a qualifier for the state meet, Adam also became a District Qualifier on four separate occasions and a Chagrin Valley Conference Champion. Although the University of North Carolina, Michigan, Penn State, Penn and Brown were all eager to recruit him, Adam opted for Brown University, where he received an athletic and academic grant. For three years, he was a starter and letter winner for the Brown Wrestling program who also had the role of team captain bestowed upon him. Capping off his list of achievements was an All-Ivy League selection and being a recipient of the Marvin Wilenzik Award, which is awarded to the athlete who gave the most back to Brown.

Adam Santee was on an Academic All-American team at Brown en route towards graduating with a degree in Political Science & Comparative Politics. Currently working in the financial sector at Wells Fargo Securities, it seems Adam has taken many of the lessons that he has absorbed from wrestling and applied them to his work and everyday life.

I believe that Adam credits his coaches at Perry for most any and all success that he has had.  Coach Bob Ritley and Coach Mike Ryan at Perry high school were mainstays in his development.  Coach Ritley brought on a mentality and mantra that many use for the rest of their lives. “Those who stay will be champions” meaning those who stay the course, those who choose not to quit and stay the course will eventually be rewarded. They believed in a mantra of “Team then Me” that the larger collective group, was much more powerful and successful than the individual.  Coach Ritley played at the University of Michigan and taught players like Adam the values and skills it takes to be successful in life. Coach Ritley made players like Adam and his teammates believe in the process and the program. 

Perry Coach Mike Ryan lived by the credo “send a message.”  Whether this was to your opponent, or anyone in life that you come across, it is essential that you let your opponent know that you are a formidable almost immediately. Mike Ryan coached Adam in baseball, football and wrestling.  He was not afraid to call someone out or humble someone when needed.  Mike is what I call the embodiment of the character ethic.  That is those who continue to do the right thing at all times and work to their absolute limits, will eventually prevail.  The character ethic differs from the personality ethic, where the loudest guy in the room wins.   The character ethic is quiet, but steadfast.   It eventually wears others down and allows them to expose their true self.  In life or in athletics.

Coach Dave Rowan has served as a pillar in the community for over 20 years. He had a dramatic impact on many athletes and students in the Perry school system.  Many student athletes including Adam owe a great amount of credit to Rowan’s training and teaching. He preached hard work and instilled a work ethic in his players that is hard to replicate.  Dave was an All-American himself, and many would argue one of the best coaches the state has ever seen. 

Perry is a special place for athletics because of the coaches in the community.  They are highly skilled, qualified and dedicated.   Scores of student athletes have gone on to have success because of the experiences and lessons taught to them at Perry. Many doubt the role and importance of athletics in the development of people’s lives.  I believe in Adam’s case and others it is of the utmost importance to learn how to work on team, be independent and self-reliant.  It not only takes incredible coaching but a community which supports such coaches.  You can learn more from athletics than you can in any classes in some cases.  More about life and yourself when you are truly tested.     

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