Ten tips for coaches leading new wrestling programs
In 2011, Mike Denney was named InterMat Coach of the Year, an honor bestowed upon the top college wrestling coach across all divisions of college wrestling, after guiding the University of Nebraska-Omaha’s wrestling program to a Division II national title.
While the Nebraska-Omaha wrestlers, coaches and fans were celebrating the national championship, Denney received a phone called from his then-athletic director. The AD’s call was not made to congratulate the legendary coach on the program’s seventh national championship in wrestling, but to inform him that the wrestling program had been dropped.
Two days later Denney received a call from Jeff Miller, vice president of Maryville University in St. Louis, Missouri. Miller explained to Denney that Maryville had been thinking about adding wrestling, and wanted to gauge Denney’s interest in leading the new program. The former Nebraska-Omaha coach had never heard of Maryville.