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2023-24 Coaches

Our instructors are some of the most experienced youth wrestling coaches in the Midwest.

Our all volunteer team of dedicated and knowledgeable coaches provide an unparalleled experience for wrestlers ranging from first year to elite level.

The BBWC is a member of the Illinois Kids Wrestling Federation (IKWF) and is sanctioned by USA Wrestling, the same organization that trains our Olympic teams.

Dave Blanke (Head Coach)

  • Started wrestling in 4th grade with the Barrington Broncos Wrestling Club
  • Graduated from Barrington High School (Class of '88) and earned 4 varsity letters in wrestling and 3 in soccer
  • Placed 3rd at IHSA State Tournament and was a freestyle state champion
  • Graduated from Northwestern University (Class of '93) and earned 4 varsity letters in wrestling
  • At NU, was a 2x Midlands place winner, 4x Freestyle All-American, 1x Greco All-American, and a U.S. national team member that competed in China
  • After college, worked at his family’s business and started his coaching career at Elk Grove High School (EGHS) where he was the Varsity Assistant for 10 years;  During this time, he changed careers and became a high school teacher at EGHS. 
  • Hired on at Grant High School (Fox Lake) where he taught Social Studies and coached wresting for another 10 years (Currently the Dean of Students at Grant)
  • After 20 years of coaching at the high school level he returned to where he started his wrestling career, the BBWC
  • He is now in his 10th year of coaching at the club where he enjoys coaching his three sons: Daniel, Matty, and Thomas

Dave Stoltz

David Stoltz wrestled at John Hersey High School under IWCOA Hall of Fame coach Rick Mann. In 1995 he was crowned state champion. This was followed by a 5th place finish in 96 and a 3rd place finish in 97. David compiled a high school record of 133-9.

While in high school David had a very accomplished Freestyle & Greco career.  David’s accomplishments included being a 5x Fargo Freestyle and Greco national finalist, 2x Fargo champion, 6x All American, and 3x USA World Team member. In 95, David won the Cadet Belt series, sharing this honor with current Penn State head coach Cael Sanderson. In 97, David won the Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award. This award is given to recipients that show excellence in wrestling, scholastic achievement, character, citizenship, and community service.

David went on to wrestle at the University of Illinois. David was a 2x NCAA Qualifier and he graduated with a degree in Liberal Arts & Science.

In 2018, David was named to the IWCOA Hall of Fame.

Jake Hughes

Coach Hughes has been involved with wrestling for almost 30 years.  He started wrestling in 3rd Grade with the Palatine Panthers Wrestling Club.  At Fremd High School he was a 3-year varsity starter, where he amassed over 225 takedowns, including 156 during his senior season.  In that senior year he wrestled to a 36-8 record and was a 2004 State Qualifier at 152 lbs.  


After high school he went on to Illinois State to pursue a degree in Education.  Since 2008 he has been working in Special Education and Administration for neighboring District 211.  For 12 of those years, he coached Freshmen wrestling and served as a sparring partner for many elite Varsity wrestlers.  During his last season at Schaumburg High School, his freshmen team was undefeated in duals and won 3 team titles, including the MSL Conference.


After taking a short break from wrestling, Coach Hughes got back in the mix at the youth level with BBWC to support his nephew’s growing passion for the sport.  He is our lead coach at the Red Level.  At this level he can build on the fundamentals learned at the white level and provide the skills they will need to begin training with our Black level, elite wrestlers.

Mike Gellings

Coach Gellings leads our beginners.  He started wrestling in 6th grade, and graduated from Beaver Dam High School (WI) Class of 2000.  He earned 2 Varsity letters in football, and 3 in wrestling

During his wrestling career, he accomplished the following:

  • 4 runner-up placements, 6 championships, and was a WIAA State Qualifier at 171 pounds for Beaver Dam.
  • 2001 National Qualifier (NJCAA) for Rochester Community and Technical College (MN) at 184 pounds.

Mike earned a Bachelor of Science degree in music from Southern Oregon University in 2012.  He worked as the assistant wrestling coach for Beaver Dam High School from 2021-23.  He also has worked with K-8 club kids, and ran a Freestyle/Greco summer club.

In the summer of 2023 he moved to IL to be closer to family, and to become more involved with his nephews Ben and Emmett,  supporting their wrestling  careers as members of the BBWC.

Additional Coaches

  • Brad Haller
  • Criss Chang
  • Dave McGrath
  • David Perlick
  • Gary Wapotish
  • John Hatfield
  • Justin Pawlik
  • Mark Cushman
  • Matt Hughes
  • Matthew Maloney
  • Mike Katsenios
  • Paul Faso
  • Rob Reinert
  • Robert Sargent
  • Ryan Mowinski
  • Thomas Vena