Chris Freije was introduced as the head wrestling coach at Fairmont State University
Two months after Fairmont State University announced it was reinstating its men's wrestling program after a 36-year absence, the West Virginia NCAA Division II school introduced Chris Freije as its head coach at a press conference Monday.
"It is a privilege to welcome Chris to Fairmont State as our new Head Wrestling Coach," said Chad Fowler, Fairmont State Director of Athletics. "Chris brings over 10 years of experience as a student-athlete and a coach to Fairmont State and will be an outstanding leader for our newly-added wrestling program.
"Chris has been successful during each stop in his career, including the NCAA Division II level," Fowler continued. "We look forward to Chris welcoming high quality student-athletes to our program, and we are confident that we will be competing for championships at the conference, regional and national level under his leadership."
Chris Freije brings a decade of coaching experience to his new assignment to relaunch wrestling at Fairmont State. During his career as an assistant and head coach, Freije has helped coach three conference championship teams (two NCAA II, one NAIA), and eight individual conference champions (six NCAA II, two NAIA). Freije has also coached a total of 28 national qualifiers, 12 All-Americans and two National Champions between the NCAA Division II and NAIA ranks.
In his two most recent positions, Freije built wrestling programs from scratch, most recently at NCAA Division II Kentucky Wesleyan… and, before that, at Cloud County Community College, a two-year school in Kansas. He also coached at Lindsey Wilson University, a NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) school in Kentucky, and at Division II's Colorado Mesa.
"I am thrilled to take over as head coach of the re-launched wrestling program at Fairmont State," said Freije. "I truly feel this program can be a sleeping giant. Our goal is going to be to keep successful West Virginia wrestlers in state, and to keep successful regional wrestlers in the region.
"West Virginia is a state rich with wrestling talent and is located in a region filled with the best high school talent in the country," Freije added. "After spending time on campus and getting the opportunity to meet everyone at Fairmont State, I felt this opportunity was a great fit for me in terms of goals, expectations, and just the overall vision for the program."
The Fairmont State Falcon wrestling program will return to the mat this fall, having last competed during the 1982-1983 season.
Founded in 1865, Fairmont State University is a four-year, public school located in Fairmont in northern West Virginia, about a half-hour south of Morgantown, home to West Virginia University. Fairmont State has an enrollment of approximately 4,200 students.