Former Ohio Athletic Conference Wrestler of the Year Justin Kihn has been selected to rebuild the Wilmington College wrestling program.
“We are thrilled to have a coach at WC with such impeccable wrestling knowledge and a great set of coaching mentors,” said Wilmington College Vice President of Athletic Administration Dr. Terry Rupert. “Justin has major recruiting roots in some of the most fertile wrestling areas of Ohio that will serve our program very well.”
Kihn comes to Wilmington after serving as an assistant coach at Heidelberg.
A graduate of Heidelberg, Kihn was the OAC Wrestler of the Year as a senior and a Division III All-American. He finished fourth nationally in the 141-pound class at the NCAA Championships. Kihn also was an Academic All-American his senior year.
His wrestling highlights include being a four-time letter winner while helping the Student Princes claim two OAC championships. He also was a two-time wrestling captain at the ‘Berg.
Kihn has spent the last eight years as a counselor and technician at the nationally renowned Jeff Jordan State Champ camp. During his time with the camp, 682 state champions – including more than 130 from the state of Ohio – have participated in the prestigious camp.
Jeff Jordan, founder of Jeff Jordan State Champ camp and head wrestling coach St. Paris Graham High School, believes Kihn will put WC wrestling back on the map.
“I am really excited to see a young man like Justin Kihn hired as the head wrestling coach at Wilmington College. He is very connected in southwest Ohio, as well as the rest of the state. I have seen Justin build great relationships with many wrestlers, and he has positively impacted their lives. I’m confident he will build a winning tradition for the Fighting Quakers.”
Wrestling returns to WC in 2018 after a seven-year hiatus with the hopes of establishing a strong program and rekindling some of the great traditions of the program’s past. History shows a number of Fightin’ Quaker wrestlers have won multiple conference championships and advanced to the national tournament.
“I think this is a fantastic hire for Wilmington College,” said Frank Baxter, head wrestling coach at Kettering Fairmont High School. “Justin will be a strong, morally sound, and dynamic leader for the Quakers. I’ve known Justin, literally, since he was 5 years old. I’ve seen him commit himself to elite goals and be fanatical about improvement over long periods of time. He will recruit young men of high character and then help them grow on and off the mat. He has a vision for what the Wilmington College program can become and I know he will work extremely hard to make that vision a reality.”
WC Hall of Famer Jimmy Wallace won the 2002 national title in the 157-pound weight class and was selected as the NCAA National Tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler.
“I’m excited Wilmington College is taking all the right steps to bring in a new wrestling team,” said Wallace. “I believe he will do a great job building the program and developing a solid team for the Quakers. He is focused, driven, and has a positive attitude. After speaking with him, I’m confident he will give this challenge everything he’s got.”
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