LU begins national search for new wrestling coach


Wesley Thomas | Reporter
July 1, 2016; 11 a.m.

Lindenwood has begun a nationwide search to replace wrestling head coach Chad Smith, who stepped down from his position last month.

The search is being coordinated by Brad Wachler, incoming VP of intercollegiate athletics.

“Based on the success and tradition of our wrestling program, we knew we were going to get quality candidates,” said Thomas Wagganer, associate athletics director. “There are several very successful coaches and wrestlers who have expressed interest in this position.”

Wrestling coach Chad Smith Photo by Pinterest
Wrestling coach Chad Smith
Photo by Pinterest

Jimmy Rollins, who has been Smith’s assistant coach for the past five years, has been named the interim head coach.

Smith, a decorated wrestler himself, helped Lindenwood transition the program to the Division II level from NAIA. He led the team to a 2015 MIAA Regular Championship and consistently qualified his wrestlers to compete for every NCAA Division II National Championship since the Lions have been eligible, including Terrell Wilbourn who won the national championship this past season.

“Coach Smith had everything you need as a coach,” said Brandon Howard, who wrestled for Coach Smith 2013-2015. “He not only was a great collegiate wrestler, but a phenomenal collegiate coach that helped his athletes become better wrestlers and better people. His dedication will be missed.”

Smith moved to Massachusetts to be closer to his wife and pursue other opportunities.