Wrestling Hits the Mat at OUPosted by Paula Paine on March 18, 2014 in Since the announcement that Ottawa University is adding men’s and women’s wrestling to its athletic programs starting fall of 2014, new head coach Kevin Andres has been hired and the first recruits signed in preparation for the program’s historic first season.
Athletic Director Arabie Conner couldn’t be more pleased to have Andres at the helm. “We are very excited about adding an experienced professional in Coach Andres to start our programs,” she said. “His level of professionalism and experience with building collegiate programs from the ground up the right way with a focus on scholar athletes has given the programs an immediate jump start in both recruiting and overall academic and athletic competitiveness.”
Since beginning work in December, Andres have made thirteen different recruiting trips, including to the Texas boys’ and girls’ state championships, Missouri state championships, and Kansas state championships. Those trips have resulted in 13 wrestlers signing with OU to date from Texas, Colorado, Missouri and Kansas, including two Kansas state champions.
In addition to the recruiting trips, Andres has hosted thirty-two different campus visits, and a campus preview day is scheduled for March 22. The home opener for both men’s and women’s wrestling is set for November 1, 2014.
Andres has started four different wrestling programs in 16 years of being involved in collegiate wrestling. He has coached 27 wrestling All-Americans (19 men and eight women), has had teams finish in the top 10 in the nation seven times, and was a four-time National Collegiate Wrestling Association (NCWA) Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year. Andres is also heavily involved in the NCWA and works closely as a founding member and as an executive board member. In 2007, he was inducted into the NCWA Hall of Fame.
Prior to coming to Ottawa, Andres spent nine years as head men’s and women’s wrestling coach at Mercer University in Macon, Ga. While at MU, he established NCWA and National Collegiate Women’s Wrestling Association (NCWWA) wrestling programs and was the NCWA National Compliance Officer, monitoring eligibility of more than 100 teams and 1,100 athletes. Under his leadership, the MU Bears won four Georgia State Championships and finished second once in the tournament’s six year history. MU also amassed four top-ten finishes at the National Duals Championship, which started in 2009, and one top-ten finish at the National Championships.
While at Mercer University, Andres also served as director of recreational sports, Southeastern Conference commissioner for the NCWA, NCWA Conference chairman, and director of campus life.
Prior to MU, Andres was the director of student activities, head wrestling coach, and director of camps and conferences at Belmont Abbey College, where he also started an NCWA wrestling program that had two top-10 finishes at the National Championships.
“Adding men’s and women’s wrestling programs to our campus community has created a buzz of excitement,” said Conner. “We’re excited to build our programs with a coach who is extremely passionate about the sport and who is full of ideas for implementation and growth of the programs.”