Q: What role does academics play in your program?
A: It is essential to the athlete’s future career. Academics take priority over athletics.
Q: As a coach, how do you help ensure your players are getting the most out of their experience as a student-athlete?
A: We constantly stress the importance of academics during practice and the time we have with our athletes. We have an academic standard, and when our student-athletes’ academic performance falls below that standard, we work with them to schedule study hall hours and counseling sessions from our academic advisors.
Q: Briefly describe your coaching experience and name two coaching highlights during your career.
A: I began coaching at the University of Iowa where I was on staff with legendary coach Dan Gable for four years. I was in the program for a total of 12 years, learning the Iowa system that has been so successful over the years. My wife and I then moved to Alaska, where I coached at the high school level for eight years. I later accepted the assistant coaching job at Indiana University and spent two years coaching and acquiring my masters degree in Slavic languages. I spent one year at Culver Military Prep in Indiana before being hired at UC, Davis. I was the head coach at UC Davis, for 10 years before budget caused the program to be dropped. My road then led me to California Baptist University where I currently serve as the head wrestling coach.
There are many moments in my career that made a huge impact on my coaching. In 2007, I coached a walk-on wrestler, Dereck Moore, who went on to win the NCAA Division I Title and was named Outstanding Wrestler of the Year. Another impactful moment was when 5,400 people attended UC Davis to watch our team wrestle against Iowa University.
Q: You have accomplished so much during your time at CBU, what do you look forward to the most in 2013?
A: Competing for the Division II Team Title and individual titles per weight class.
Q: Who do you admire the most in life?
A: Steve Barrett, who was an NCAA Champion at Oklahoma State and a great international wrestler. He became a missionary and has spent 13 years in Russia heading the Samaritans Purse branch, as well as being a missionary to the huge wrestling community of Russia. He has had a tremendous impact throughout the country. It seems that club coaches across the world know and have tremendous respect for him. He had spent the past four years in southern Russia, primarily in the Muslim areas, until he was kicked out of the country. He now serves in Mongolia and has provided the opportunity for several of my wrestlers to serve alongside him last year in Moldova.