Hastings High School wrestling coach Paul Vaith announced last week he would be stepping away as the head coach.

For Vaith, the time had simply come.

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"The timing is just right," he said. "I've done it for 31 years. Twenty-three here, and 19 as head coach. It has been a wonderful time professionally, Personally, it has been fun. But it's time for me to step back and enjoy the things that my sons, daughters and grandchildren are going to be doing."

Vaith's youngest son, Mark, is in fifth grade and wrestles. Vaith hopes to be a volunteer coach to help him and be matside, just as he was with his other two boys.

He has two sons who will both be wrestling collegiately in the winter, and his three daughters are in college or just finishing up, and they have blessed him with two grandchildren.

All that ads up to him simply wanting more time with his family.

As for the program, Vaith turns the keys over to a program that is winning at every level. He has a 412-99-1 coaching record and led the Raiders to a state title in 1996.

"We've got the train going in the right direction," he said. "It's just time to change conductors."

He thanked everyone in the community, at the schools, his former athletes and their parents for making the last 23 years in Hastings so much fun and so successful.

Vaith will continue in his position as an assistant principal at the high school and he plans to stay active in the local wrestling community.

Vaith has had two sons come through the Hastings program. John Paul is wrestling at Saint John's University and Luke is an HHS senior. He won a state title in March and will wrestle collegiately at Hofstra.