Missouri fills out coaching staff

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- The Mid-American Champion Missouri wrestling team has announced a couple of changes to the coaching staff, as confirmed Wednesday by Head Coach Brian Smith. Included in the changes is the promotion of former Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach Nick Marable to Volunteer Assistant, with 2013 All-American Mike Larson taking over as Assistant Strength Coach.

Marable was hired on as the Assistant Strength Coach prior to the 2010-11 campaign. After serving three years in that position, he will now fill the void left by former Volunteer Assistant and 2009 heavyweight national champion, Mark Ellis.

"Nick (Marable) enjoyed his position as strength coach, but he came to me and asked to be more involved in the coaching aspect," said Smith. "Over the years, he's really developed into a good young coach, and with (Mark) Ellis taking a position with Chattanooga, we wanted to give him an opportunity to grow even more as a coach."

A two-time All-American, Marable wrestled to a third place finish at the 2008 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, the highest finish amongst Tigers. As a senior, the Tiger grappler posted a 35-5 record, which included a 13-1 dual mark, and became the 17th Missouri wrestler in program history to join the elite 100-win club. Winner of three consecutive Big 12 titles, Marable finished his career with 116 wins, the eighth-most in Missouri history, and was awarded Missouri's Hap WhitneyCoaches Award honor in 2007 as well as Most Improved Wrestler accolades in 2008.

On the heels of Marable's promotion, Smith also announced the addition of former Tiger Mike Larson to the staff.Larson, last year's 184-pound starter for the Tigers, will take over as Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach.

"When Mark left, I asked (Mike) if he would be interested in coming back," said Smith. "He was already talking to other coaches around the country who were interested in bringing him on board, but I knew that ultimately he wanted to be here. He's a Tiger, and he's been through the program, so now he's back to where he belongs."

A four-time NCAA qualifier, Larsonfinally gained All-American status with an eighth-place finish last year at the NCAAs in Des Moines. He finished his career with a 101-50 career record after transferring to the Tigers from Cal-State Bakersfield.

"Mike was one of the hardest workers we have ever had in the program. He has worked for everything that he has everearned, and that work ethic is what I want in our weight room. We have had a lot of recognition for our training and conditioning from other coaches nationally, and that all starts with the intensity coming from our trainers and coaches. He brings that energy and intensity to the weight room that I think is important."

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