Anibal NievesNieves, a Division I national qualifier at 134 pounds in 1988 and 1989 who placed sixth nationally during his senior season, brings over 15 years of head coaching experience to ESU. Most recently, he has served as head women's and assistant men's coach at Springfield Technical Community College in Springfield, Mass. for the past six seasons.
"I'm very excited to welcome Anibal Nieves to our Warrior athletics program," said Dr. Gary R. Gray, Director of Athletics. "He brings a rich past of international and Olympic experience, as well as developing young wrestlers at a number of levels, including NCAA Division II. I am confident that he will provide the leadership and direction required to reestablish ESU wrestling at the PSAC and DII levels."
Prior to his position at Springfield Tech, Nieves was the head men's coach at Division III Western New England for five years. He previously led American International's Division II men's program from 1994-2003 and was honored as the DII East Regional Coach of the Year in 2000.
Nieves has coached nine All-Americans at the Division II level. His student-athletes' academic success has stood out as well, with Nieves leading a total of 20 NCAA Scholar All-Americans at his previous programs.
At Springfield Tech, he led nine NCWA Women's All-Americans, including four national champions, and he was named NWCA Women's Coach of the Year in 2017.
Nieves had a 62-13-5 record in two seasons at ESU, notching one fall, 11 technical falls and 15 major decisions, and had a 22-3-5 mark in duals.
Following his career at ESU, he competed for Puerto Rico in the 1992 and 1996 Summer Olympic games, earning a 10th place finish at 62 kilograms at the 1992 Barcelona Games. A nine-time national champion in Puerto Rico, he also took home silver medals at the 1991 and 1995 Pan American Games.
"It is an honor to be named wrestling coach at ESU, " said Nieves. "I would like to thank our awesome team of administrators, including President Welsh and Dr. Gray, the search committee and ESU coaches and staff who participated in the search process for selecting me to lead our wrestling student-athletes."
"I look forward to building on the Warriors' winning tradition. ESU alumni, family, wrestlers and friends will do this together!"
Nieves remains active internationally, serving as the wrestling coach for Haiti at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. He additionally worked as a trainer for two-time U.S. Olympian Elena Pirozhkova, who was the women's World Champion at 63 kilograms in 2012.
One of 22 All-Americans in ESU history, Nieves will look to bring renewed success to a wrestling program which has had 12 athletes combine for 16 NCAA qualifying spots since reclassifying to DII prior to the 2009-10 season, but just two in the last three years.
Nieves will begin his position at ESU on Tuesday, May 29. He is available via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.