I am excited to begin my duties as assistant wrestling coach at Washington and Lee University. Thank you to the athletic department, including athletic director Jan Hathorn and especially to head wrestling coach Nate Shearer for giving me this opportunity. I wanted to write this blog post to introduce myself to the W&L wrestling community.
Having served the previous two years as an assistant wrestling coach at the Virginia Military Institute, I did not have to move far to begin my duties at Washington & Lee. I am excited for what my “junior” year will bring- after all, it is my third year here in Lexington. I typically tell my wrestlers that the third season can be their breakout season, when things finally start “clicking” and coming together. I feel the same way about my own wrestling and coaching. I have learned a lot in two seasons at VMI. It has certainly been a roller coaster ride, but have emerged a more confident coach and wrestler, and look forward to making a positive impact on the wrestlers at Washington and Lee University.
As a way of quick introduction, you can view my profile in HR’s new employee blog.
My own wrestling career was at a school very similar to W&L- Davidson College- where I was a 4 year letter-winner and 2 year team captain. The highlight of my career was winning a Southern Conference Championship in 2010 and earning a trip to the DI NCAA Tournament. In addition to winning the SoCon tournament as a junior, I placed 3rd my sophomore and senior seasons. On top of my college seasons I also competed in numerous freestyle tournaments, including University Nationals, the U.S. Open, NYAC, and won the 2010 Northern Plains Regional and wrestled in the World Team Trials.
One of my most memorable experiences during my Davidson career was a summer spent training with the Belarus National Wrestling Team. I travelled to Belarus along with my twin brother and took part in 2 months of rigorous training. I am still implementing the things I learned there in my coaching and wrestling- after all, I am still competing, most recently placing 4th at the Northeast Regionals in May 2015 (check out the picture from the tournament at left). I plan to wrestle at the US Open this year, with the goal of placing in the top 7 and qualifying for the Olympic Trials.
After graduating from Davidson College in 2011, I returned to my hometown Columbus, Ohio and attended graduate school at the Ohio State University, completing a masters program in Slavic & East European Studies. While in Columbus school kept me busy, but I volunteered as a wrestling coach at two different high schools, helping my high school coach’s new teams. This experience really got me interested in coaching, and when I completed my degree, I applied for and was accepted at VMI, which ultimately led me here- the new assistant wrestling coach at Washington & Lee University!