Nate YetzerYetzer has served as the head coach at Ferrum since the inception of the program in July of 2012. The Panthers competed as a club program during the 2012-13 season, then began varsity competition the following season.
Yetzer quickly established the program on the national stage, leading the program to an NCAA regional championship in 2017, a runner-up performance in 2019, five consecutive top-5 finishes at the NCAA regionals from 2016-20 and five consecutive Southeast Wrestling Conference (SEWC) championships. Individually, one of his wrestlers, Logan Meister '17, qualified for the NCAA Div. III Tournament in March 2014. Meister would go on to qualify two more times and became the program's first All-American in 2016.
Yetzer's career coaching record through seven season stands at 66-32, with 14 NCAA individual tournament qualifiers, five individual NCAA Regional champions and four All-Americans. Yetzer coached one NCAA finalist, Zack Beckner, who was runner-up at 125 pounds at the 2017 NCAA Tournament.
"Certainly, the news of Coach Yetzer leaving to start the wrestling program at Roanoke College is met with mixed emotions," said Sutyak. "We are happy for him and his family with the new challenges they will embark on, but sad that he will be leaving the Ferrum men's wrestling program that he started. The work Nate did to build this program into a regional power and a national program at the Division III level was impressive. He has molded hundreds of young men here at Ferrum and we are forever grateful to him and his years of service."
Yetzer by the Numbers
2013-14: 6-3 record, 1 NCAA qualifier
2014-15: 8-10 record
2015-16: 12-4 record, SEWC Champions, 2 NCAA qualifiers, 1 All-American
2016-17: 13-6 record, NCAA Southeast Regional Champions, SEWC Champions, 3 NCAA qualifiers, 1 All-American
2017-18: 10-4 record, SEWC Champions, 3 NCAA qualifiers
2018-19: 11-2 record, NCAA Southeast Regional Runner-Up, SEWC Champions, 3 NCAA qualifiers, 2 All-Americans, Ferrum hosted NCAA Tournament
2019-20: 6-3 record, SEWC Champions, 2 NCAA qualifiers
During Yetzer's tenure, the Panthers have had 42 NCAA regional place-winners, 41 Academic All-Conference selections, 11 All-State selections and three Outstanding Wrestler Award winners. The Panthers have had 71 individual tournament champions and 11 team championships, including five consecutive Southeast Wrestling Conference Tournament titles.
Under Yetzer's leadership, Ferrum hosted NCAA Regional Tournaments in 2015 (East Region), 2017 (Southeast Region) and 2018 (Southeast Region). The Panthers then hosted the 2019 NCAA Division III Wrestling National Championship at the Berglund Center in Roanoke last March, where two of Yetzer's wrestlers earned All-America.
"I am so thankful that Ferrum took a chance on me eight years ago to lead this program," said Yetzer, "The people I have met along the way are lifelong friends. Ferrum will always hold a special place in my heart and I believe that I am leaving this program in a great position. I always stress to my guys the importance of getting outside their comfort zone in order to grow as a person. I believe I need to do the same.
"I want to thank everyone who supported us and all of the great men I had the privilege to coach. Thank you also to Ryan Riggs, Logan Meister, Brandon Bradley, Collin Saunders, Blake Rosenbaum and Tyrique Nolen for all their tireless work throughout the years as coaches. Thank you to Dr. David Johns, Dr. Jennifer Braatan, John Sutyak, and Abe Naff for their support of our program. A very special thank you to Harry and Natalie Norris, and Gary Holden for all the advice and support."
Yetzer came to Ferrum from Blacksburg, Virginia, where he served the past six years as an assistant coach for the Virginia Tech wrestling program. He worked under head coach Kevin Dresser, who is now head coach at Iowa State University. Yetzer helped the Hokies to a 11th place finish at the 2012 NCAA Division I Tournament. The Hokies had two All-Americans, six NCAA qualifiers and three ACC champions in 2012. Prior to joining the Hokies' staff, Yetzer served as assistant coach one year at NCAA Div. I Binghamton University in Vestal, New York.
Yetzer wrestled for NCAA Division I Edinboro University from 2001-05. He won Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference titles in 2004 and 2005, and earned the Eastern Wrestling League title in 2004. Yetzer was a four-time NCAA Division I Tournament qualifier, and capped his 2004 season with an All-American finish when he placed 8th in the 174-pound weight class.
Yetzer earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Edinboro in 2005 and his Master of Arts degree in Health Promotions from Virginia Tech in 2012. Yetzer and his wife, the former Leah Scott, have four sons: twins Jack and Nick, Ethan and Brock.