New Northern Colorado volunteer assistant Earl Hall (Photo courtesy of Tony Rotundo; WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
With all that was going on in the wrestling world in Fargo and the Cadet World Championships, as well as the looming Olympic Games, college news may have taken a back seat this week. We don't blame you if you missed out on three new assistant coaching hires that were made public earlier this week. Brown, Northern Colorado, and Ohio added to their respective staffs. Here is a little bit about each of the new assistant coaches.
Earl Hall (Northern Colorado)
Northern Colorado made an announcement yesterday that they were adding Earl Hall as a volunteer assistant. Hall held the same role for the University of Virginia in 2021. He is no stranger to Bears head coach Troy Nickerson, as Nickerson was an assistant coach at Iowa State, while Hall was competing for the Cyclones. During his days at Iowa State, Hall earned All-American honors on two occasions. He was eighth as a freshman, at 125 lbs, and seventh during his junior campaign, up at 133. Hall qualified for the NCAA Championships four times and was seeded in the top-13 during his last three trips. Prior to nationals, Hall made the Big 12 finals twice.
Hall will undoubtedly bolster the Bears lightweights as he did at UVA. The 2021 campaign saw the Cavaliers send wrestlers to nationals at 125-141 and 133 lber Louie Hayes got onto the NCAA podium for the first time in his career. Their 125 lber Patrick McCormick developed as the year progressed and avenged a regular-season loss to Colton Camacho (Pittsburgh) at the ACC meet, which helped him automatically qualify for nationals.
Hall also has worked with Virginia's Cavalier Wrestling Club, so he'll also contribute on the freestyle side.
TJ Dudley (Brown)
Tuesday, Brown University announced the addition of TJ Dudley as the team's volunteer assistant. Dudley was a three-time All-American for Nebraska from 2014-17. He finished eighth, second, and third during his final three years competing for the Huskers (the same alma mater as Bears head coach Todd Beckerman). Dudley was a four-time national qualifier for Nebraska and had his best Big Ten finish as a junior when he made the finals, opposite Iowa's Sam Brooks.
Brown has a young, talented crop of upperweights for Dudley to work with. Harrison Trahan (174), Drew Clearie (184), James Araneo (197), and Tony Pray (197) are all part of an underrated recruiting Class of 2021 headed to Providence.
Shakur Laney (Ohio)
Also this week, Shakur Laney returned to take an assistant coaching position with his alma mater, Ohio University. Laney was a three-time NCAA qualifier for the Bobcats, competing from 2016-20. Laney's best year came in 2017 when he won the MAC title and received the 13th seed at 125 lbs. He later would move up and finish his career at 141 lbs. Like the rest of the nation, Laney wasn't able to finish his 2020 season due to the cancellation of the national tournament during the onset of the Covid pandemic. Laney received an at-large bid to the tournament and was set to be the 23rd seed. His record during the 2019-20 campaign was 21-10 and he finished at 85-14 for head coach Joel Greenlee.
Some of Ohio's top grapplers could be in Laney's range. Lone NCAA qualifier from the 2021 season, Mario Guillen, is at 133 lbs, while 2020 qualifier Alec Hagan is expected to be at 149. Additionally, Ohio has transfer Tommy Hoskins and a host of fresh faces expected to contribute at 125.