Class: 2022 | Category: Coach | School: Kiski Area | Sport: Wrestling
Tursky stands alone in the WPIAL record book, having won more matches than any other coach in league history. Tursky celebrated more than 500 wins, 16 section titles, and two WPIAL team championships in a 36-year career as a head coach, including 29 years at Kiski Area. More than 80 of his former wrestlers went on to become coaches themselves. He resigned as a head coach in 2015 with a career record of 505-143-2, including seven seasons at Burrell. His Kiski Area teams won nearly 85% of their matches (459-83-1), claimed WPIAL team titles in 1997 and 2005, and were PIAA runners-up in 2003. But arguably the most impressive statistics are the ones that capture his consistency. Tursky’s teams won 102 consecutive section matches in one stretch from 1993 to 2006, and they qualified for the playoffs 26 years in a row. His career record against section opponents was 214-25-1. Six times his teams won the Westmoreland County Coaches Association title. His peers recognized him as the section’s top coach 16 times, he was named WPIAL Coach of the Year twice (1996-97 and 2002-03), and PIAA Coach of the Year once (2002-03). As a high school athlete, Tursky was a two-time state qualifier for Riverview as a heavyweight. He went on to become a four-year letterman at Slippery Rock University, where he wrestled for coach Fred Powell, and also played football. When Tursky resigned as head coach in 2015, he didn’t leave the wrestling room. Instead, he switched roles with a longtime assistant and coached a few more seasons before officially retiring. Tursky was inducted into the Pennsylvania Wresting Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2005. He received a “Lifetime Service to Wrestling” award from the Pennsylvania chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2014, and was inducted that same year into the Slippery Rock University Hall of Fame. He joined the Alle-Kiski Valley Sports Hall of Fame in 2017.