Nathan Cross came home from Colorado two years ago to coach at Moline.
On Thursday, after two years as wrestling coach and art teacher at his alma mater, he and his family are returning to Colorado, the area which is home to his wife and four boys.
Cross resigned as Moline wrestling coach Thursday after two years in which the Maroons went 43-8 in duals and won two Western Big Six championships, upping Moline’s title streak to four years in a row.
The family is moving back there for a number of reasons, including he and his wife’s Denver-based soap and skin-care products business that is now in its fifth year, MIG Soap & Body Co.
“We are going to go into full-time entrepreneurship, running our company,” Cross said, noting it’s a job they can do out of their home there. “I won’t be coaching or teaching.
“My wife and kids basically consider that home,” he said. “For me this is home, but for them, going back is very exciting.
“We have a chance to start something new for our family with some people that we love. It should be good. It’s kind of bittersweet.”
Moline had seven wrestlers make it to sectionals, including two regional champions, but none to state this past season, Cross' second in charge.
Cross said he enjoyed his return to Moline.
“As far as coaching here for two years, it was a dream come true,” he said. “It was something I wanted to do for a very long time. I am glad I got the opportunity to do it. That, to me, is probably the saddest thing, having to give up the coaching.
“Working in Moline has been awesome,” he added. “It’s been really great. I’ve taught in lots of schools, and Moline is definitely top-notch.”
Moline athletic director Todd Rosenthal said he respects Cross’ decision but was totally surprised, noting they had recently met for an evaluation.
“Great guy,” Rosenthal said. “Nathan is one of those coaches, he’s a great role model. He’s got a very strong faith. He’s a family guy.
“One of the strong points we hired him for is he is very technical on the skills teaching of wrestling,” Rosenthal added. “He never got rattled. He was just one of those super nice guys. If he had kept it up, he would have built a great program.”
Rosenthal, a former Moline wrestler and coach, is retiring at the end of this school year. He still wants to do the hiring of the next coach because he believes a coach needs to be in place for summer programs for the current wrestlers, as well as camps.
New athletic director Dick Knar does not start until July 1.