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It has been the family business for several years.

Four Wallace brothers have coached wrestling and now Jason Wallace returns to be the head varsity wrestling coach at Cabrillo High School.

Wallace wrestled at Cabrillo as a student. Since then, he has assisted at the school and was the head coach several years ago.

"My oldest brother Michael — who is my assistant coach now — graduated Cabrillo in 1992 and wrestled all four years," Wallace explained. "My brother Brian (the current athletic director at Santa Maria High School), who I took over for after he was the coach for 12 years, graduated in 1994 and then my brother Corey, who lives in Florida, also coached when he was in town and he graduated in 1999.

"All of us wrestled all four years that we were at Cabrillo."

This will be Wallace's second stint as the head coach at his alma mater.

"Brian was my head coach for my last two years in high school," Wallace said. "I helped him off-and-on, then when he left to go to Santa Ynez as a teacher and a coach, I took over for him, then Chad Johnson took over for me when I left.

"Because of my work, it wouldn't have allowed me to continue — it was just too much time away from home to be able to coach."

Wallace graduated in 2001 and attended Hancock College for a while, taking genreal ed classes and getting certified in confined space rescue. He worked off-shore on the oil rigs off of Surf and Jalama Beaches, then worked on the oil pipeline in Alaska.

For the past three years, he has been a development technician in the biological science department at UC Santa Barbara.

Wrestling has been part of Wallace's life for as long as he can remember. He started participating when he was five years old.

"With my brothers, to be honest, it's not like I had a choice," he said laughing. "My brothers were all doing it, so you see it happening right in front of you, so you have to take part in it. Then I just grew to love it.

"The competition of it kept me in it — I'm 33 and I've been involved with it for over 25 years — it's kind of a way of life for me."

In his junior year, Wallace won the league title in his weight class, (215 lbs.), was second in CIF and finished sixth in the Master's tournament. After breaking his leg playing on the football team during his senior year, he was unable to compete, but helped his brother any way he could.

Now he is loving coaching the sport.

"It's nice to show the kids my style and the varitations of it, depending on weight classes," Wallace explained. "It's a joy to see them go out there and use the things that I have showed them."

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"The techniques and everything about wrestling contradicts every natural movement that the body wants to do, so it's a hard sport to coach."

And coaching wrestling is not the only thing Wallace feels he has to accomplish.

"It's not just coaching the sport. You turn into a mentor, a counselor and a helper," Wallace said. "Yes, you teach them how to wrestle, but you also teach them to be a better person.

"At the same time you are coaching, you have to teach them restraint as well as strength."

Teaching students anything involves teaching them how to accept the good with the bad and to keep striving to improve no matter how many times you get knocked down.

Wallace survived a horrific automobile accident in March, when a driver crossed over the double yellow line on Highway 1 and struck his car head on. The driver of the other car died and Wallace suffered a shattered leg.

Now he is happy to be back to doing what he loves — coaching wrestling and staying in the family business.

"I'm just glad I can give back to the school that did so much for me when I was there," he said.