Joe Bena, long-time Capital Region wrestling coach for Guilderland and Duanesburg, was laid to rest yesterday, February 26.

Mike MacAdam reported on the somber event for the Daily Gazette after Bena died of cardiac amyloidosis earlier this month. His 79 years were characterized by a devotion to his craft and, most importantly, to the young people he coached to great success. That is reflected in MacAdam's story, which could only find people with the highest praise for Bena. He writes: friend Terry Miller, whose son Shaun wrestled for Bena at Niskayuna, said there was an hour and 45-minute wait to get through the line during visiting hours on Sunday.


Despite his success as a coach, racking up hundreds of wins and even sending several of his disciples to the Olympics, he seems most remembered for his amazing way with everyone he met, bright demeanor, and relentlessly positive attitude.

The Capital Region lost a good one in February. Here's to Coach Bena.