Head Coach - James Tietema
James Tietema is in his second year as a coach for the Muskegon Community College Jayhawk wrestling team. Last season, Tietema helped coach the Jayhawks to a 15th place finish at the 2013 NJCAA Tournament with 3 All-Americans. Prior to the last year, Coach Tietema spent 9 years teaching and coaching at the high school level in Florida. The last two seasons of his prep-school coaching career, his teams claimed back-to-back state titles.
Coach Tietema is a graduate of the University of Findlay with a BS in Education – Intervention Specialist. While wrestling for Findlay, he finished as an All-American at the NCAA Division II National Tournament. He wrestled for Coach Gaffner at Muskegon Community College in 1999 and finished 2nd at the NJCAA National Tournament. He had a season record of 20-1, was the Team Captain and voted the Co-MVP of the ‘99 team.
Coach Tietema spent his prep career at Holland-West Ottawa High School, wrestling for Karl Nadolsky. He was a 4x state qualifier and a 2x place winner. He captured the Division 1, 160 lbs. State Title his senior year with a record of 47-2. Coach Tietema was also a 4-year Team Captain, a 2x Team MVP, and recorded 100 falls.
He lives in Spring Lake, MI with his wife Catherine, daughter Gabriella and soon to be son.
Assistant Coach - Ron Gaffner
Coach Ron Gaffner returns as an assistant coach for the Jayhawks after 25 years as head coach. His primary duties include recruiting, academic advisor, and fundraising for the Dan Burt Memorial Wrestling Scholarship. He is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a BS degree in Education and an MA in Athletic Administration.
During his tenure as head coach of the Muskegon Community College wrestling program the Jayhawks acquired 332 dual meet victories, with Coach Gaffner placing third among NJCAA coaches in total wins. His teams placed in the top ten of the national tournament eleven times. They won 6 MCCAA championships, 13 NJCAA Region XII championships, and had 7 individual national champions and 59 All-Americans. Over 100 of his wrestlers earned Academic All-American status.
Coach Gaffner was selected MCCAA Coach of the Year six times, Region XII Coach of the Year thirteen times, and NJCAA Coach of the Year once. He has been an active participant in the National Junior College Coaches Association where he held the office of secretary/treasurer, vice president, and president for four years. He was NJCAA Man of the Year in 1981, is a member of the NCAA National Wrestling Hall of Fame, NJCAA Hall of Fame, Michigan Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame, and Greater Muskegon Area Hall of Fame.
Coach Gaffner lives in Whitehall with his wife Nadine.
Assistant Coach - Thomas Jenkins
Thomas Jenkins is in his first year as a coach with the Muskegon Jayhawks. He wrestled for the Muskegon Community College Jayhawks in 1998-1999 under Coach Gaffner. He was a Freestyle/Greco-Roman National Team Qualifier and hold the career escape and reversal record at Wayland Union High School, where he was a two-time MVP and All-State wrestler.
Coach Jenkins has over 13 years of coaching and motivational experience at all age levels and received a BS in Behavioral Psychology from Western Michigan University. He also served for six years in the United States Marine Corps.
Coach Jenkins lives in West Olive with his wife Jess and two sons, Ira, 10, and Wyatt, 7.
Assistant Coach - Kris Maddox
Kris Maddox is in his first year as the strength and conditioning coach for the Jayhawk wrestling team. For the past 10-12 years he has been a high school wrestling official, an assistant wrestling coach at the high school level, and currently serves as a volunteer coach for the youth wrestling program in Montague, MI.
Coach Maddox earned a varsity letter in wrestling at Olivet College prior to transferring and earning his Associates Degree in Criminal Justice from West Shore Community College. At Manistee High School, he was the first wrestler to reach and exceed 100 wins, where he wrestled under Coach Russ Wrzesinski.
This past year Kris and a partner opened a CrossFit training facility in Muskegon, where he is a Certified CrossFit Level-1 and CrossFit Olympic Weightlifting Coach. He is also the lead coach of the Advanced Athletic Conditioning Program for the Muskegon Jayhawk wrestling team.
Kris is a Sergeant for the Michigan Department of Corrections, as well as a patrolman for the Hart City Police Department. He currently resides in Montague with his wife, Star, and three children, Kyarra, Gavyn and Chayse.