New Brown University head coach Jordan Leen (photo courtesy of Tony Rotundo; WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
Today, Brown University announced Jordan Leen as their next head coach. Leen has spent the last five years as the associate head coach under Keith Gavin at the University of Pittsburgh. He held the same position for the University of Virginia for a season, which happened to be his last stop before Pittsburgh. In total, Leen spent five years with Virginia, as well.
Leen is no stranger to the Ivy League; he was a three-time All-American and 2008 NCAA Champion for Cornell at 157 lbs. In each of his final three years in Ithaca, Leen made the podium going eighth as a sophomore, before capturing his national title as a junior, then he was third as a senior. Leen also happened to compete at three different weights at Cornell. He started at 141 and finished at 157 lbs. In conference competition, Leen won the EIWA as a sophomore and senior. He never finished lower than third and was a runner-up during his national title season. That championship came as he was the eighth seed.
Leen has developed a reputation as an excellent recruiter. He was instrumental in the Panther's #15 ranked recruiting class for 2022. The Panthers inked a pair of top-50 recruits and three of the top-100. Each of these signees are from Western Pennsylvania, Pitt's backyard. When Gavin and staff took over, improving the Panthers in-state recruiting was deemed necessary for them to compete in the ACC and beyond.
Recruiting will play a big factor in Brown's improvement under Leen. Ivy League rivals Penn (#18) Princeton (#20), and Columbia (HM) all were mentioned in InterMat's Class of 2022 Recruiting Rankings. Traditional power, Cornell, was not on the list but returns the bulk of a squad that finished seventh in the nation in Detroit. Additionally, the Big Red already have three of the top-80 recruits from the Class of 2023 aboard. In order, to keep up with the rest of the Ivy, as well as the EIWA (Lehigh #17, Navy #21, Army West Point #23 - recruiting rankings), the Bears will have to up their recruiting results.
On the mat, Pitt has made sharp gains over the past few seasons. In 2021, two Panther wrestlers made the NCAA finals (Jake Wentzel - 165 and Nino Bonaccorsi - 197), which led to an 11th-place finish. One would assume, based on size, that Leen was very hands-on with Wentzel's development. Like Leen, Wentzel earned a reputation as one of the best in the country from the top position. This year, while Wentzel and Bonaccorsi missed the podium, 141 lber Cole Matthews finished fifth in the nation and won U23 nationals over the weekend.
Leen is only the tenth head coach in Brown wrestling history and the third since 1983.