New Bison wrestling coach continues to blaze his own trail

Former world-class athlete Obe Blanc is the first Black head coach in NDSU athletics history

FARGO — The competitive wrestling career of Obenson Blanc was on an impressive path to the Olympic Games, just falling short of that goal when he was named an alternate to the 2012 U.S. team at the London Games. He was a two-time U.S. Open and World Team Trials champion before running out of steam and a coaching career came calling.

He didn’t go looking for it; coaching came to him. Today, at 38 years old, he finds himself a head coach for the first time, being named to the position about a month ago at North Dakota State.

In the process, Blanc became what is believed to be the first Black head coach in NDSU athletics history and, like getting into the profession in the first place, he didn’t go looking for it. It came to him. But he’s well aware of the significance from an overall university perspective, saying just his presence on the sideline “helps take that barrier in their mind away by visually seeing it.”

“I don’t know if it’s as important to me as it perhaps might be to other people,” Blanc said. “For me, I’ve never looked at it that way. I’m not saying there might be some different ceilings and stuff, I’m sure there are, but I’ve just never really had that kind of notion. Be smart and position yourself well, educate yourself and go chase what you want. I’ve never seen my color being a limitation.” Continue reading at →