The Gunston School is proud to share the recent accomplishment of one of its longtime faculty members, Mr. Mike Clemens, who was the recipient of a Lifetime Service to Wrestling Award by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, Maryland Chapter on November 14, 2021.
“Mike’s passion for wrestling is deep,” shared Gunston’s Head of School John Lewis, “and he’s given so much of himself to the development of young people through the sport. At the same time, he’s coached a variety of other sports as well.”
During Clemens’s 21-year career at Gunston, in addition to teaching algebra, geometry, and trigonometry, he has served as coach in a variety of sports including junior varsity and varsity basketball (both boys and girls teams). He is also the proud parent of three Gunston alumnae. “Mike loves Gunston and completely embraces the community. In addition to advising, teaching, and coaching, he mentors the Christian Athletes Club, co-mentors Math Club, and has served as an advisor to the Student Government Association. For many years, Mike organized and led all of the annual student dances, and most recently has earned high praise as Bingo caller extraordinaire supporting employee and student events. Mike remains Gunston’s impassioned cheerleader,” adds Assistant Head of School Christie Grabis.
Growing up in the Perry Hall area, Clemens’s wrestling career started with the Perry Hall Junior Program. This background and his tenacity allowed him to start at 98 lbs as a ninth grader for a dominant Mount Saint Joseph Wrestling Team. As a starter for four years, he tallied 82 wins including three straight years of placing in the MSA and a top eight finish in the prestigious national Prep Tournament. Clemens also wrestled in college at Navy Prep for a year and at the United States Naval academy for two years. He actually continued wrestling in open tournaments for the next 20 years, competing in well over a hundred matches and winning a tournament in five straight decades.
Coaching, as well as wrestling, became a passion for Clemens. Early in his Mount Saint Joseph wrestling days, he volunteered as a coach at Perry Hall High School. After his college days, he was head coach at St. Michaels High School for seven years. During that time, he was recognized with the District Eight Sportsmanship Award three times. Clemens officiated novice tournaments and also Greco and Freestyle, adding announcing to his resume for several years in the MIA Tournament and the Mount Madness Tournament.
In addition, Clemens has been a member of the Maryland State Wrestling Association for over 20 years and a board member for 15 years. He was also the district representative for the Maryland State Wrestling Committee for five years. Besides these leadership roles, he has donated a tremendous amount of time to directing and helping with countless wrestling tournaments — he was a 20-year director of the Mason Dixon Quad, a five-year director of the St. Michaels Tournament, and three years at the helm of the State Novice Tournament, to name a few. Needless to say, Mike Clemens has been a familiar face at wrestling events across the state of Maryland. In 2020, he was the recipient of the Maryland State Wrestling Association’s Johnny K. Eareckson Memorial Award.