Tool’s Maynard James Keenan Helps Train High School Wrestling Team
Maynard James Keenan took a bit of time off his seemingly never-ending work schedule to help train high school wrestlers for a tournament. Keenan, a member of Mason County Central High School’s 1982 class, aided 16 wrestlers in preparing for the Optimist Tournament in Scottville, Mich.
Back in his Mason County days, Maynard James Keenan was known as Jim Keenan. The Tool / A Perfect Circle / Puscifer frontman used to wrestle alongside the school’s current coach Jim Allen, so after Allen and Maynard touched base, the vocalist happily offered his help. “I got involved with the team last year after I found out that Jim Allen was coaching,” Maynard tells the Mason County Press. “Jim and I wrestled together and I knew that he would give the kids the type of work ethic and pride that we grew up with. I knew they would have the drive under Jim’s leadership.”
Maynard Keenan actually paid for the 16 wrestlers to attend an Olivet College wrestling camp after they fulfilled Keenan’s one small request. “I said that we wanted to send the kids down to Olivet College to the wrestling camp there, but a lot of them didn’t have the money,” says wrestling coach Jim Allen. “So, he required the kids to write an essay about what wrestling means to them and why it was important for them to go the camp. He paid for all 16 kids to go down there.”
Although Maynard Keenan is a well-known rock star and somewhat of an enigma, Allen says that Keenan didn’t visit with any sort of ego. “Maynard — I call him Jim — is very humble,” says Allen. “He may be a rock star traveling the world but his heart is here in Scottville, helping these kids. Last year, Maynard showed up and made a lot of observations,” Allen said. “This year, he got on the mats and practiced with the kids. I’m not really sure if a lot of them realize how big of a deal this is. Like I said, he’s very humble.”
Alongside Maynard Keenan was the singer’s father, Mike, who was a wrestling coach for MCC from the late ’70s up until 1982. He sat beside his son, happily watching his former students now teaching the team he once led.
Tool are currently working on their next album, which is expected for a 2014 release.