Central Methodist head coach and director of wrestling Sam Schmitz (Photo/Central Methodist athletics)
Central Methodist University's new director of wrestling and head men's wrestling coach comes to the Eagles with no shortage of hardware. Sam Schmitz has three consecutive national titles as the women's coach and several top 5 finishes as men's assistant coach at McKendree University.
Schmitz is anxious to get to work at Central.
"I'm nervous and I'm excited," said Schmitz. "This is a big step for me and for my family."
Schmitz said that one thing won't be any different, though.
"The recipe for success doesn't change," he said. "It always has come straight from my heart."
Schmitz has nine years of experience under his belt as a head coach, but some of that coaching prowess was learned from his old college coach and now Central Methodist's vice president for enrollment management and athletics, Dr. Joe Parisi.
"His success was unmatched as a head coach and I did a lot of learning," Schmitz said. "He created the blueprint, especially with the small things he did outside of coaching. I've learned from that. I'm not going to do exactly as he did, but I'm adding my own touch and making the approach mine."
Parisi said that he and athletics director Jeff Sherman, along with President Roger Drake, have high expectations for their new coach.
"He's got great tools and a great heart," Parisi said. "He is a master technician and an excellent recruiter. We can't wait to see the changes in our program."
As a college wrestler under Parisi, Schmitz was an NAIA all-American on two of Parisi's seven national championship teams.
He has a proud history with Parisi, but Schmitz is also looking forward to working with legendary coach and now CMU athletic director Jeff Sherman.
"You see a lot of things in 37 years as a head coach," Schmitz said. "I can't wait to visit more with him and learn."
Schmitz has three consecutive NCWWC national championships under his belt at McKendree. In addition, Schmitz was the one coach nationally to serve as a clinician earlier this year at the prestigious high school national championships.
Besides being the men's head coach at Central, Schmitz will serve as the director of wrestling, overseeing the Eagles' successful women's wrestling program and Head Coach Brieana Delgado. She is looking forward to learning from the veteran.
"He has a great reputation and I'm looking forward to working with him," she said. "I'm also looking forward to re-connecting with his wife, who is one of my old teammates."
Schmitz, from Oregon, comes to Central with his wife, Michaela, a three-time national champion and the first female to win a boys' high school championship. They have two children.