BEREA, Ohio – Head Coach Jamie Gibbs has elevated the Baldwin Wallace University wrestling team into the elite of Division III during his first six years on the Berea campus through hard work and unending energy and by teaching, coaching and recruiting. That effort is not lost on his team. Their hard work, energy, enthusiasm and extra effort is paying huge dividends for Gibbs and the BW wrestling program.
The Yellow Jackets, 15-3 overall, 1-0 in the Ohio Athletic Conference and ranked ninth in the latest National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) Division III poll, enter this week just four wins shy of setting a school record for victories for the third straight season. A year ago, BW finished 18-8 overall and won its first OAC title since 1973 with a perfect 5-0 record and placed an all-time best second at the Div. III regionals. But again, it all goes back to hard work and extra effort.
In addition to working hard during their season, a pair of offseason factors has helped to leverage another exceptional season. Last May, Gibbs took 15 of his wrestlers on a cultural exchange to Russia which included working out with Russian, Bulgarian and Venezuelan Olympians and Olympic hopefuls. In addition, and all on their own and with no influence from Gibbs, a number of Yellow Jacket grapplers decided to stay on or near campus last summer, working on campus and off campus jobs and working out together almost every day.
"We are very pleased with the progress of our program and our student-athletes," said Gibbs, the 2015-2016 OAC Coach of the Year who has a 63-29 career dual match record at BW, including a 50-16 slate the past three seasons. "We have wrestled a strong, competitive schedule against a number of nationally-ranked opponents and our only losses are to teams ranked ahead of us at the time we competed."
"A key has been that self-induced, extra, individual effort by our young men and the continued extra effort and work done by my excellent coaching staff, and in particular my main assistant Mason True," said Gibbs. "Because of that effort, not only did our good wrestlers get even better, it helped everyone get better. We have a number of young men who learned and struggled somewhat as freshmen and sophomores who now are having an outstanding season."
"It has been great to see what young men can do when they motivate themselves, and when the veteran upperclassmen take exceptional leadership roles," continued Gibbs. "The atmosphere every day in our wrestling room is about family and great competition. Some of the best competition our guys get to face is in our own wrestling room. It is really fun, and we have a lot of fun as a team."
The Yellow Jackets are back in action this Friday, January 20 when they travel to Greenville, Pennsylvania to compete at the Thiel College Mel Berry Duals. BW will wrestle both host Thiel and Mercyhurst (Pa.) North East. The next home match is an OAC dual versus Muskingum University on Tuesday, Jan. 31 in the Rudolph Ursprung Gymnasium in the Lou Higgins Center at 7:30 p.m.
March 14, 2017 Four Wrestling Student-Athletes Earn Academic All-OAC Honors
March 11, 2017 Arroyo Earns All-American Honors at NCAA DIII Championships
March 10, 2017 Wrestlers Compete on Day One of NCAA DIII Championships
February 22, 2017 Wrestler Doyle Thrives with Gunter as His Mentor
February 14, 2017 No. 9 Wrestlers Win Second Straight OAC Title
February 7, 2017 No. 9 Wrestling Beats Heidelberg for Share of OAC Crown
January 24, 2017 No. 9 Wrestling Team Ties School-Record for Wins in a Season
January 20, 2017 No. 9 Wrestling Team Earns Two Shutouts at Mel Berry Duals
January 18, 2017 Hard Work Paying Off for No. 9 Wrestling Team
January 14, 2017 No. 9 Wrestling Team Finishes Fourth at Spartan Mat Classic
January 13, 2017 Wrestling Jumps to No. 9 in Latest NWCA Poll
January 13, 2017 No. 9 Wrestling Defeats Cross-town Rival John Carroll in OAC Opener
January 9, 2017 Lehman Earns First Career OAC Wrestler of the Week Honor
January 6, 2017 No. 15 Wrestling Team Finishes Fifth at NWCA Duals
January 4, 2017 Wrestling Jumps to No. 15 in NWCA Poll
December 19, 2016 Arroyo Garners Second Career OAC Wrestler of the Week Accolade
December 17, 2016 No. 20 Wrestling Team Wins Three Matches at Gator “Boots” Duals
December 12, 2016 Burke Garners Second Career OAC Wrestler of the Week Honor
December 10, 2016 No. 20 Wrestling Posts 3-0 Record at Waynesburg (Pa.) Duals
November 29, 2016 No. 19 Wrestling Wins Home Opener Versus NAIA Lourdes
November 19, 2016 No. 19 Wrestling Posts 2-2 Record at Mount Union Duals
November 12, 2016 Five Wrestlers Win Individual Titles at Trine Invitational
November 10, 2016 Wrestling Defeats Adrian (Mich.) in Season Opener
November 9, 2016 Wrestling Ready to Defend OAC Title in 2016-17
November 8, 2016 Wrestling Announces 2016-17 Schedule
November 2, 2016 Maclellan to Compete at the NWCA All-Star Classic