A longtime Council Bluffs wrestling staple is back as a head coach with a new team.
After coaching Thomas Jefferson from 2005 to 2019, August Manz is set to take the helm at Lewis Central, replacing Doug Kjeldgaard, who is stepping down.
Manz, a Council Bluffs native and Thomas Jefferson alum resigned in March of 2019 and spent last season volunteering in the Lewis Central wrestling room, while also working with kids in the COBRA wrestling program, which Manz started in 2005.
Prior to his 14-year run at T.J., Manz was an assistant at Abraham Lincoln for two years, a head coach in Battle Creek, Nebraska, and before that an assistant for T.J. Manz and his wife Tami, have a daughter Mahri, who is entering eighth grade and son Zander who will be in sixth grade this fall. The chance to coach his son down the road was one of the many reasons Manz is excited to be at Lewis Central.
“It was a lot of different things. It’s a chance to coach my son and a lot of his friends in the future. There’s some former Cobra kids that are out at Lewis Central now that I get to coach now that I wasn’t able to before,” Manz said. “Lewis Central is well known for their wrestling, so it was an opportunity to take on a position that was a little bit different than what I dealt with at T.J.”
During his tenure with the Jackets, Manz had four wrestlers qualify for the Class 3-A state finals, with Colton Clingenpeel and McGwire Midkiff winning championships. T.J. also made two trips to the regional duals, adding a top-10 finish in the traditional state tournament.
Manz hopes to blend what he did at T.J. with an already rich wrestling history at Lewis Central, which is fresh off winning its fifth consecutive city championship last season.
“I want to bring a tough, mental, grinding mentality where guys are able to grind out matches,” Manz said. “We want guys who aren’t going to back down to anyone. We want wrestlers to ware their opponent down, really work on them and score a lot of points.
“I’d like to tell Coach Kjeldgaard thank you for letting me part of his staff. He’s done a wonderful job with the program and left it in a good place.”