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College Update for June 7: More changes in the college coaching ranks



By Jason Bryant
jbryant@intermatwrestle.com

We were so close. So close to narrowing the number of Division I coaching opportunities, but where there are positions open, there are sure to be positions vacated.

After weeks of scuttlebutt, Virginia Tech officially announced Tony Robie as its associate head coach on Tuesday. Robie was the head coach at the revived program at Binghamton University.

The move to Blacksburg opens up the job at Binghamton, but the Bearcat program doesn't seem to be in danger.

Binghamton associate athletics director Jim Norris said in Wednesday's Press & Sun-Bulletin, "He certainly laid a good foundation for us. We've got a great facility; the room itself is a great team room. All those things are in place. We're optimistic our program will continue to grow."

Sounds promising, at least for now.

BU assistant coach Nate Yetzer, while not officially named as yet, will also come aboard. The last assistant position is still open and being mulled around by recent Indiana graduate and two-time NCAA champion Joe Dubuque. The diminutive, but equally sizeable Dubuque is also being courted by new Hofstra coach Tom Shifflet.

The status of the athletes seeking releases from Virginia Tech remains in limbo, Binghamton's top recruit, NHSCA senior national champion Josh Patterson of Wayne, N.Y., has been released from his National Letter of Intent by Binghamton following Robie's resignation.

Patterson now re-joins the pool of potential recruits, but hasn't completely ruled out enrolling at Binghamton, where his brothers attend.

East Stroudsburg hasn't named a new head wrestling coach as yet, but sources indicate Lehigh assistant coach Jason Kutz will be announced as the new Warriors head coach in the coming days.

The hiring of Kutz would be the second of Greg Strobel's assistants to be named to head coaching positions within the EIWA.

Last week, Princeton named former Lehigh assistant coach Chris Ayres as its head coach.

Other coaching moves
Upper Iowa, which just completed its first season at the NCAA Division II level, rewarded coach Heath Grimm with a three-year contract extension on Wednesday. Grimm led the Peacocks to a 17th-place finish at the 2006 NCAA Division II National Championships and had two All-Americans.

Spartanburg Methodist filled its vacant head coaching position, naming Rob Higdon, a Division II All-American at UNC Pembroke and former coach at Carson-Newman, as its new head coach. Higdon takes over for Tony Casterisano.

Clackamas Community College in Oregon named a successor for coach Mike Haluska, picking up Josh Rhoden to lead the program.

Fight, Fight!
The fledgling International Fight League has its share of former wrestlers amongst its ranks. This past Saturday's IFL Legends championship final, Pat Miletich's Silverbacks beat Maurice Smith's Tiger Sharks 3-2 to claim the inaugural crown. The event featured a five-match dual and five "super fights."

Former Iowa Hawkeye Ben Uker opened up the night with a submission victory, while another former Hawkeye, Ryan McGivern sealed the championship for the Silverbacks with a decision over Dennis Hallman.

Former two-time NCAA runner-up and three-time All-American Reese Andy from Wyoming, won his bout at light heavyweight for the Tiger Sharks.

Matt Lindland, a 2000 Olympic silver medalist in Greco-Roman, was named a coach for one of the four new teams announced by the IFL.
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