Wrestling coach distinguished as ‘Coach of the Year’


Nick Senti

Christopher Barnhart and Mike Ware stand together after awarding Barnhart with the “Coach of the Year Award” at the Virginia Beach Sports Clubs’ annual Jamboree on May 31, 2023.

Jade McAboy, Staff Writer

Virginia Beach Sports Club awarded wrestling coach Christopher Barnhart “Coach of the Year” during their annual Jamboree at The Founders Inn. 

Coach Barnhart has coached at Ocean Lakes for 14 years and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. 

“I first met coach Barnhart when I was in eighth grade, and he was one of the assistant coaches at Kempsville when I was in high school. His advice has made me a better person and helped mold me into the man and teacher that I am today,” said assistant coach Mike Mosley. “I am truly grateful to be able to coach along with him and help all of the kids in this great program.”

He pushes his athletes to be the best they can be by going over drills daily, communicating his plans and ideas and supporting them to the end, no matter what. 

“My expectations are very high and firm, regardless of talent. I know they consider me very strict, but I’m always there for all athletes here,” said Barnhart, who is engaged in the school community, educated in wrestling and focused on efficient communication with his athletes, executing a practice plan each day.

According to students and colleagues, he holds them to a standard most of them don’t think they are even capable of.

“He spends countless hours running practice, coaching at tournaments and strategizing on how to best improve the team. He devotes his time and energy to making athletes the best versions of themselves that they can possibly become,” said Mosley. 

Barnhart puts his athletes first.

“He has our best interest in mind and cares for us deeply. He is the best coach I could have asked for,” said junior Isaiah Royer.