Kearney High School has hired its first-ever Girls' Wrestling coach. Mr. Trey Schlender grew up in Kearney, wrestled for Kearney High School, and began his coaching career at KHS. He is now the head coach for the new KHS Girls' Wrestling Team.
"I want to thank KHS for the opportunity to come back to Kearney and start the girls' wrestling program,” stated Schlender. “I am so grateful for this opportunity. It is an honor to be the trailblazer for these girls and this program.”
This past year, Schlender has been the assistant wrestling coach at Bellevue East High School (2022-2023). Prior to that he was the head wrestling coach at Kenesaw High School and brought home a few state medals including one state runner-up (2020-2022). Schlender started his coaching career by volunteering and assistant coaching at Kearney High School and Horizon Middle School (2015-2017).
“I am very excited for the start of this new Kearney High Athletic program and we found a great head coach to lead the Bearcats,” stated Ryan Hogue, KPS Activities Director/KHS Assistant Principal. “Coach Schlender checked all of the boxes in my opinion. He is a Kearney High School graduate, wrestled at both the high school and college (UNK) level, and has a wide range of assistant coaching experiences as well as two years of serving as a head coach. In my opinion, he has the right attributes to recruit, coach, and run a successful Girls' Wrestling program for the Bearcats.”
Schlender was a 2013 KHS graduate and wrestled all four years in high school and was a state medalist in his senior year. After high school, he continued his education and athletic career at UNK where he earned a degree in K-12 Health and Physical Education. As an athlete, Schlender was a three-year starter for the Lopers at 197 lbs and placed 5th at Regionals.
Hogue expressed his excitement about the new coach, “Coach Schlender is a person who cares deeply about Kearney High School, this community, and the Bearcat Wrestling program. He will work tirelessly to ensure that this new athletic program at KHS starts off in a positive direction that will embrace the strong tradition of Bearcat Wrestling. The future looks bright for the Girls' Wrestling program at Kearney High School under Coach Schlender’s leadership.”
Schlender stated, “My wife and I are so excited to be back in Kearney and part of this awesome community! The Kearney community is second to none in supporting its athletics, and I am beyond excited to get to work with this program. We have a great opportunity to start something special, and we will do great things. I look forward to developing individuals into not only great wrestlers but even better people."
Schlender met his wife Carlie while at UNK and recently got married on December 31st, 2022. They have two boxer dogs named Sammi and Buster. Schlender expressed that they are so excited to be coming back to Kearney!