Harrison High School wrestling legend retires, new head coach prepares for first season

By ABBIE JONES

After two extremely successful years, Harrison High School wrestling coach Tom Fiacco is handing over the reins to new coach, Cory Newsom, for the 2014 season.

“Ya know, I’m old, Cory’s grown to be like my son, and I know he’ll do a great job,” said Fiacco.

Coach Newsom is a Cobb County native who is also a three-time wrestling state champion, and he is currently a physical education teacher at Vaughn Elementary in Powder Springs. Newsom is not new to the Harrison wrestling community, having served as an assistant coach to Fiacco.

“I’m excited,” said Newsom. “I’ve got a great bunch of kids. They’re young, but I’m really excited to be the head of the program and see what I can build.”

Coach Fiacco became a school legend after bringing the first wrestling region championship to Harrison High School, and the news of him leaving was saddening to former wrestlers and parents alike.

“Coach Fiacco was a great coach and a lot like a dad to us,” said Jake Shumpert. “He didn’t just teach us about wrestling but about life.”

Fiacco originally coached at a high school in North Carolina, where he retired into the coaching hall of fame.

When the Fiacco family moved to Georgia, his son, Anthony, joined the Harrison wrestling program. Anthony had experienced success with the team, and coach Fiacco became more involved. When former head coach, Josh Stephen, transferred, it wasn’t long before Fiacco was asked to accept the head coaching position at Harrison High School.

The first wrestling matches for the 2014 season start the weekend before Thanksgiving break.

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