SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Western New England University Director of Athletics Matthew LaBranche has appointed Mike Sugermeyer to the position of full-time head wrestling coach. Sugermeyer had previously held the position in a part-time capactity.
"Over the past three years, Mike has truly re-energized the Golden Bear wrestling program," LaBranche said. "We feel extremely fortunate to be able to make a full-time commitment to a program that has such a rich history on our campus and to keep a talented coach like Mike in the fold."
The Western New England wrestling program has seen a resurgence with Sugermeyer leading the Golden Bears over the past three seasons, culminating in sophomore John Boyle earning All-America honors at the NCAA Division III Championships in Cleveland this past March.
Three other Golden Bears earned NCAA Tournament All-Northeast Region accolades for Western New England, which posted top-10 finishes at both the NCAA Northeast Regional and the New England Dual Meet Championships in 2017-18.
"Mike has proven himself to be a dynamic recruiter and a tremendous role model for our student-athletes," LaBranche continued. "He is truly committed to his student-athletes' development on and off the mat, and our entire department will benefit from his daily presence."
The Hampden, Mass. native has guided the Golden Bears to 28 dual meet wins during his three seasons at the helm of the program, more than the previous six seasons combined.
A 2013 graduate of Rhode Island College, Sugermeyer served as an assistant coach at Western New England for two seasons before assuming the head role leading into the 2015-16 campaign.
In addition to Western New England's success on the mat, Sugermeyer has placed a strong emphasis on academic achievement. In 2016-17, the Golden Bears were recognized by the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) after posting a 3.20 team grade point average, which ranked 22nd among over 100 Division III programs. At the conclusion of this season, six student-athletes were named to the New England Wrestling Association (NEWA) All-Academic Team, including three that received NWCA Scholar All-America recognition.
"It has been an honor to serve as the head wrestling coach at Western New England University for the past three seasons," Sugermeyer said. "I want to thank President Caprio, Dr. Walker, Matt LaBranche and the rest of the Western New England University administration for elevating the position of head wrestling coach to a full-time role."
Sugermeyer has strong ties to the University and its wrestling program. His father, Steve Sugermeyer '78, was inducted into the Downes Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014, and played a significant role in the growth and development of the sport at Western New England. He currently serves as a professor of accounting and as a faculty fellow for the wrestling program.
Outside of his duties on campus, Sugermeyer is active within the sport on the national and regional levels. He serves on the NWCA Executive Committee as Treasurer, and as the NEWA Hall of Fame Coordinator.
"I look forward to the opportunities that this will bring for our program as we continue to work towards accomplishing our goals," Sugermeyer added. "Thank you to the Western New England University community, our alumni and everyone that is part of our Golden Bear family for all of your continued support!"