After serving as Plattsburg’s assistant wrestling coach for nine years, Aaron Gudde now will take the helm as head coach for the Tigers this coming season.

The decision for Gudde to take over as the team’s head coach was made in May when now former head coach Brandon Burns announced he would be stepping down for more personal time with his family. Burns still will help out as a volunteer coach.

After being second in command for so long, Gudde is certainly looking forward to running the show.

“I’m excited. It’s something that I’ve waited for and worked towards,” Gudde said. “There’s a little bit of nervousness there finally getting to take full control of the program. There’s a little bit of nerves making it look exactly the way I want it and be successful with it.”

Gudde also said despite that there are no state qualifiers nor medalists returning this coming season, expectations still are high. However, he thinks that it will be tough to rebuild the program coming in as the new head coach.

“I kind of feel like it might be tougher because you still want to be successful,” Gudde said. “You do have a lot of young guys coming in that are gonna have to step up and kind of the lead where they relied on former upperclassmen to do that. I don’t think the intensity will take a step back.”

Gudde was a four-time state qualifier and two-time state medalist for Plattsburg as he took fourth place during his junior year in 2004 and then fifth in 2005. The Tigers took second place as a team at the state tournament his senior year, and then as an assistant in 2013, the Tigers took fourth.

He then went on to attend Northwest Missouri State and started coaching for Plattsburg during his junior year in 2009. The Bearcat graduate has served aside three different head coaches during his time at Plattsburg: Nick Ward, Brad Swope and Burns.

In Gudde’s time at Plattsburg, he has helped produce 24 state medalists. He will be assisted by both Kemper and Connor Kellerstrass. Kemper started coaching at Plattsburg during the 2015-16 season, while Connor will begin his second season with the team. Connor also was a head coach for the Maryville Spoofhounds from 2014-2017.

Plattsburg will co-op with East Buchanan as well this season.

Derek Zimmerman-Guyer can be reached at derek.zguyer@newspressnow.com.Follow him on Twitter: @SJNPSports.