Nickerson named head coach at Northern Colorado

6/16/2014
University of Northern Colorado Sports Information

GREELEY -- The future of Northern Colorado Wrestling begins on Monday as Director of Athletics Darren Dunn announced Troy Nickerson as the program's seventh head coach in its 35 year history.

"After a lengthy, diligent process, we found a great leader for our wrestling program in Troy Nickerson," Dunn said. "He is a bright star in wrestling, familiar with Colorado Wrestling and he will be a great mentor for our student-athletes. I am truly excited Troy will be joining our UNC family."

Nickerson comes to Northern Colorado after coaching the past two seasons at Iowa State and finishing a remarkable collegiate career with Cornell from 2006-10. His recent history in the sport includes NCAA Championships and All-American statuses; along with off-the-mat initiatives to build relationships in his community.

"I'm extremely excited to join the Northern Colorado Wrestling community," Nickerson said. "I want to thank Darren Dunn and the search committee for believing in me and providing me with this opportunity. I will work tirelessly to make UNC Wrestling a force to be reckoned with in the future."

Troy Nickerson (Photo/Larry Slater)
Nickerson's main responsibilities at Iowa State included the lightweights of 125-149 pounds. During his two seasons, he coached one NCAA All-American and one NCAA qualifier in 2013-14 and finished all of his starters with a record of at least .500 in 2012-13. Prior to joining the Iowa State wrestling program, Nickerson served as an assistant coach at the Finger Lakes Wrestling Club from 2011-12 in Ithaca, N.Y. He was also the head coach of the FLWC college team during 2010-11.

During his four seasons as a member of the Big Red wrestling program at Cornell, Nickerson finished as an NCAA Champion in 2009 at 125 pounds, a four-time All-American, a two-time NCAA Tournament finalist and racked up a 97-8 career record, placing himself 20th all-time in wins in program history.

Nickerson inherits the program that went down to Arizona State and won on the Sun Devils' home opener, 24-15. The team finished the 2013-14 season with a 5-13 record and a Western Wrestling All-Conference third team selection to upcoming senior Henry Chirino (Brandon, Fla.). Chirino and fellow senior Mitchell Polkowske (LaJara, Colo.) recently finished fifth in their weight divisions at the ASICS National Championships in late May. Teammate Trey Andrews (Safford, Ariz.) will also participate in late-season matches, heading to the Junior Pan American Championships with USA Wrestling from June 27-29.

Originally from Chenango Forks, N.Y., Nickerson graduated from Cornell in 2010 with a bachelor's degree in biology & science with a minor in nutritional science.

What they're saying ...

"What a great day for wrestling! The fact that the Darren Dunn and the leadership of the University of Northern Colorado went to such great lengths to go out and hire a coach of Troy Nickerson's reputation and character sends a strong message about their commitment to wrestling. I'm confident that Troy will bring an energy and professionalism to the program that will set UNC Wrestling up for long term success. USA Wrestling welcomes Troy back to Colorado, we're excited for him as he takes this next step in his wrestling career." - Rich Bender, Executive Director of USA Wrestling

"Coach Nickerson is a phenomenal wrestler, coach, and mentor. There is no doubt that he will lead the University of Northern Colorado wrestling program to extraordinary success." - Mike Moyer, Executive Director of National Wrestling Coaches Association

"Troy is a legend in New York state and is certainly known nation-wide. He was a phenomenal high school wrestler and an equally sensational college career for Cornell. He was a gutsy competitor and found a way to win a national title, literally with one arm, and that's what I'll always remember about Troy. He's very intelligent, and Cornell's tough as it is, but to be a pre-med major and to be a four-time NCAA All-American gives you the idea of the type of focus and time management skills and discipline that Troy possesses." - Rob Koll, Cornell Head Wrestling Coach

"Troy's got a passion for wrestling. I think he sees the sport for more than just wrestling. I think he really enjoys the particulars of the administrative duties that he'll be taking on in Northern Colorado. I know that was really attractive for him and building a program is something he's really excited about. He's a straight worker, initiator, innovator and he'll do a great job for the Bears. He's been to two very successful, historically traditional wrestling programs in Cornell and Iowa State, and he's going to try and initiate some of those things to make Northern Colorado his own." - Kevin Jackson, Iowa State Head Wrestling Coach

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