In the world of high school wrestling, numbers like that will get you the real prizes: a lot of gratification, respect and “Coach of the Year” awards from the Pacific Wrestling Association. They’ll bring you three CIF-SS Championships, two seconds, 41 team tournament wins and a California Invitational Tournament championship.
But legendary numbers are not the only measure of success for Mike Hart. His conscientiousness, determination, enthusiasm and exacting nature brought out the best in his young competitors. In perhaps the most demanding of all high school sports, Mike led 90 pounders to super heavyweights to the top of the mountain, reflecting the tenacity and aggressiveness of their coach. And the caring. He was a PTSA “Teacher of the Year.” He was invited to lead the 1977 SPAAU Cultural Exchange Team to Japan and was appointed to the prestigious CIF-SS Professional Rights and Responsibilities Committee. Not only does his won/loss record stand alone, he was the real motivating force in inaugurating the wrestling program in Santa Barbara. In that effort he credits parents Audrey Welby and Georgiana King for their commitment.
His true-love and support staff? His wife Kathryn, daughters Susan, UCSB ’89, and twins Jennifer and Jeanine, who like their father graduated from BYU. When not teaching history or coaching football and wrestling, Mike will be fishing, mountain biking, trap shooting or taking photos.