BY JIM KALIN
What happens when Dellinger Award winning writer Jim Kalin interviews America’s greatest wrestlers about one of the most legendary coaches in any sport, National Wrestling Hall of Fame member Mike Milkovich? The result is Mustang.
Milkovich was only the third high school coach ever to be inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, and his Maple Heights Mustangs captured ten Ohio State Championships and finished runner-up eight times.
Accomplishment bought recognition to Milkovich, but it’s his dynamic personality that makes Mustang impossible to put down. Set in Cleveland during the Milkovich wrestling dynasty, this book follows the rise of a blue-collar community that became a production hive for some of Ohio’s greatest wrestlers and eventual NCAA champions and All Americans.
Drawing on personal accounts from former Maple Heights wrestlers, nationally known celebrities of the sport like Larry Owings and Bobby Douglas, and the four Milkovich brothers, Kalin draws a picture that’s typically triumphant, but often unsettling.
Mike Milkovich changed American wrestling. In this definitive biography, Mustang chronicles a wrestling life and provides the reader with an accurate, honest look at Milkovich the icon, his genius and modesty, his unparalleled sense of fairness, but also the contradictions, the strict discipline toward his sons, and the refusal of accepting anything but victory. Mike Milkovich was more ferocious than Patton and as unbending as the Great Santini. For any reader, how could Mustang be anything but compelling?