Mattingly, Francisco Join NDSU Wrestling Staff

FARGO, N.D. – North Dakota State Wrestling head coach Obenson Blanc announced the additions of Scott Mattingly and Ceron Francisco to the Bison coaching staff on Friday, Aug. 25.

Mattingly joins the Bison as an Assistant Coach, bringing nine years of coaching experience at the Division I level to Fargo. Over nine years as an assistant, Mattingly has coached 20 NCAA DI qualifiers. He spent the last five years at Gardner-Webb University, where he directly coached six NCAA qualifiers.

“I am excited to have Scott and his family join our Bison Wrestling family,” said Blanc. “Scott has a wealth of knowledge and experience throughout his athletic and coaching career which we will draw from as we continue to build a tradition of excellence. Scott has strong leadership qualities which will impact our student-athletes on and off the mat. Additionally, Scott has strong sense for relationship building and recruiting which will continue to add to our nationally ranked recruiting efforts.”

After four years as an Assistant Coach, Mattingly was elevated to Associate Head Coach last season, and helped guide individual wrestlers at Gardner-Webb to one SoCon championship, two runners-up and a third-place finish, including two NCAA qualifiers.

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Eastview High School Welcomes Melissa Jacobs as the First Female Wrestling Coach

Apple Valley, MN – Eastview High School is proud to announce the appointment of Melissa Jacobs as a new coach of the wrestling team. A trailblazer in her own right, Melissa is set to make history as the first female wrestling coach in the school’s storied sports legacy. With a remarkable background as both an accomplished wrestler and experienced coach, Melissa is poised to lead the team to new heights.

Born to Chuck and Sarah Jacobs, Melissa brings a strong foundation of values and determination to her coaching role. She will graduate from Augsburg University with a degree in Business Management and a minor in Religion and Management Information Systems.

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Brayden Curry named head wrestling coach at Minnesota West

Curry, a former assistant coach for the Bluejays under Randy Baker, is now in charge and has big goals for the wrestling program.

WORTHINGTON — When Brayden Curry first stepped into the Minnesota West wrestling program as an assistant coach last season, he knew it was going to be a rebuilding process.

Curry, 24, is now taking over as the head wrestling coach for the Bluejays after a season as an assistant.

Prior to coaching at Minnesota West, he had gotten other offers during his senior year at Augustana University, including from already-established programs. One offer was from a high school in Nevada that had been a perennial state championship contender.

“I’ve never been that far west or really even outside of the Midwest in terms of where I lived. But they’ve been state champions 18 of the past 21 years, so, a really, really renowned program,” he said. “They said I was their guy and it was a very enticing offer.” Continue reading at →

2-time U.S. Olympian Ali (Bernard) Sprenger named new Augsburg women’s wrestling head coach

MINNEAPOLIS — Ali (Bernard) Sprenger, a two-time Olympian and five-time collegiate national champion in her women’s wrestling career, has been named as the new head coach for the Augsburg University women’s wrestling team, it was announced on Tuesday.

Sprenger replaces Jake Short, who resigned to pursue other interests after spending two seasons as the program’s head coach. Short coached the Auggies to finishes of sixth place and fifth place in the National Collegiate Women’s Wrestling Championships, with three national champions, nine All-Americans and a 14-4 dual-meet record in his two seasons.

“I am incredibly grateful and excited to start this new chapter in my career as head coach of the women’s wrestling program,” Sprenger said. “The wrestling program here at Augsburg has a rich history, and I am honored to be a part of it.”

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Lumberjacks split boys and girls, Greg Skerik and Rance Bahr take over

BEMIDJI – The list of impactful Bemidji High School wrestling figures is long, so it’s no surprise the Lumberjacks returned to the well to stay at a high level.

The winningest wrestler in BHS history accepted the boys head coaching position starting in 2023-24. Greg Skerik amassed 211 victories before graduating in 2006. The four-time state individual participant and two-time state medalist will replace Rance Bahr, who resigned after 14 seasons.

“I’m from Bemidji, and I’ve been a part of this (wrestling) program for close to 30 years,” Skerik said. “It’s always kind of been a position I wanted, just more of a timing thing with Rance. He’s done a great job for so long. I worked with him when he first started coaching high school. Whenever Rance decided it was time to change things up, I was hoping things worked out on my end, and I’d be in a position to apply.”

Bahr isn’t going anywhere. Shortly after his resignation, he applied for the newly created girls wrestling head coaching position at BHS. In an effort to provide more resources for the largest high school girls wrestling program in Minnesota, Bahr was named Bemidji’s first girls-specific wrestling head coach in school history. Continue reading at →

Five-Time All-American Hayden Hidlay Named NDSU Assistant Wrestling Coach

FARGO, N.D. – North Dakota State Wrestling Head Coach Obenson Blanc announced the addition of Hayden Hidlay to the coaching staff Monday afternoon. Hidlay joins the staff as an Assistant Coach, coming to Fargo from North Carolina State.

Hidlay, a native of Lewistown, Pa., was a five-time All-American, four-time ACC Champion and one of the winningest wrestlers in NC State school history before joining the program as a student-athlete development coordinator for the 2022-23 season.

“I am excited to welcome Hayden to our Bison Wrestling coaching staff. Hayden is among the best young leaders I have been able to observe as a coach and I am thrilled to have our athletes around a mentor like Hayden,” said Blanc. “I am looking for coaches who will commit to leading our Bison wrestlers in all aspects of life and Hayden’s resume as an athlete, student, and character are in direct alignment with the goals of this program and institution.”

Last season, he served as personal coach for Trent Hidlay, who earned a silver medal at the U23 World Championships in Pontevedra, Spain. He also worked closely with NC State wrestlers Ed Scott (157-pound All-American), Jackson Arrington (149-pound NCAA Qualifier) and Alex Faison (174-pound NCAA Qualifier) during the 2022-23 season.

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Obenson Blanc Named North Dakota State Wrestling Head Coach

FARGO, N.D. – North Dakota State University director of athletics Matt Larsen announced the hiring of Obenson Blanc as the next head coach of the Bison wrestling program on Friday, May 5. Blanc served the last four seasons on the coaching staff at NDSU, including the last two as associate head coach.

“I’m incredibly excited to keep Obe and his family in Fargo as the new leader of the Bison wrestling program,” said Larsen. “Some of our best seasons and recruiting classes in the Division I era have coincided with his time at NDSU. His leadership coupled with our returning nucleus of wrestlers and incoming recruiting class will keep the momentum of our program moving forward.”

Blanc has worked closely with all facets of the Bison wrestling program while coaching two All-Americans in Jared Franek and Michael Caliendo, and all three of NDSU’s Big 12 Conference champions – Cam Sykora, Luke Weber and Franek. Blanc has also mentored 19 NWCA Scholar All-Americans in his four seasons in Fargo.

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Baker retires as West wrestling coach; Brayden Curry to take over

Randy Baker, one of Minnesota’s most celebrated wrestling coaches, retires as coach of Minnesota West; Brayden Curry will head the program.

WORTHINGTON – Minnesota West wrestling will have a new coach for its upcoming season as Brayden Curry replaces Randy Baker.

Baker was one of the top high school wrestling coaches in the state while he coached in the area, and is very respected. He has coached the sport for 41 years, and spent the last four years leading the Minnesota West college program.

“I took the Worthington (Minnesota West) job with the idea that I would take it over until we could get somebody for a long-term deal,” said Baker. “That was my plan, I did not want to see them drop the program.”

Baker has kept the program afloat during a time of great difficulty and uncertainty. And now Curry is in charge. Continue reading at →