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Silver Anniversary

Burlington coach, Doug Vander Linden, has had many years of coaching experience. He has been the head coach of the wrestling team in Burlington for the last 25 years and has gotten the chance to mentor many wrestlers.

“I really wanted to make an impact in the life of kids. As a beginning teacher there was an opportunity to coach and be the head coach of a sport so I took advantage of it knowing very little about the sport and that was 25 years ago and I fell in love with it,” Coach Vander Linden said.

Vander Linden has coached many state qualifiers in his day. Not only do the wrestlers look up to him, the parents also see what a great impact he has had on their kids.

“Doug was my son’s coach for probably 10 years, was a part of him being a state champion, and a big part of making that all happen. He’s a good coach who really cares about the kids and wants to see everyone succeed,” said parent of a previous state champion, Mike Skilden.

Pictured right: Coach vander Linden takes notes as he studies other matches.

Not only does Coach Vander Linden help his wrestlers get in physical shape, but he also helps them achieve a good mental attitude.
“We use a website called wrestling mindset and it’s a mental worksheet to help us get through the wrestling week,” Burlington wrestler, Connor Richly said.

There are many reasons for someone to want to coach. Coach Linden has some unique motives for his desire to continue coaching for this long.

“I really believe that you stay young, your connections with kids stays current if you are involved in coaching. There’s a tremendous pride you feel when you watch kids really take off and want to excel,” Coach Vander Linden said.

It’s obvious that Vander Linden wants to help kids and watch them grow through the sport. He has had a lasting impact on many wrestlers and will continue to have an impact for the remainder of his coaching career.

“Whether they’re the top level kid, the middle of the road, or the beginning kid just to watch them grow into young men and women is fantabulous. It’s a great, great career,” Coach Vander Linden said.


Sarah Mick & Brianna Rohr



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