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After five years, Shawn Charles resigns as Arizona State head wrestling coach

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Arizona State’s Shawn Charles has resigned from his position as head wrestling coach, effective immediately, Sun Devils athletics director Ray Anderson announced Wednesday.

"We thank Coach Charles for the contributions he has given to his alma mater during his tenure," Anderson said. "We will launch a national search immediately for his successor. Our wrestling program has enjoyed success as one of the premier programs in the country and we are intent on regaining that status going forward."

Leshawn “Shawn” Charles took the helm of the Arizona State wrestling program in May 2009, after Thom Ortiz had resigned in April.

Charles had just completed his fifth season heading up the Sun Devil mat program. In 2011 he was named Pac-12 Coach of the Year.

Before taking the helm at Arizona State, Charles had coached at a number of college programs, starting as an assistant coach at Iowa State in 1993, then, later at University of Missouri. He was head coach at Phoenix College during the 1995-1996 season, and at Fresno State in 2005-2006, the last season before the school eliminated its wrestling program.

During his coaching career, Charles has coached 42 NCAA All-Americans in his career and five NCAA champions. He has helped teams place in the Top-10 at NCAA Championships seven times. Charles took the Sun Devils to a sixth-place finish at the 2011 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, where Anthony Robles and Bubba Jenkins each won individual titles for Arizona State at 125 and 157 pounds, respectively. However, three years later, as T.R. Foley pointed out in a recent InterMat Platinum premium subscription feature, at the Pac-12 championships, Arizona State failed to qualify a single wrestler for the 2014 NCAAs (though received an at-large selection).

Prior to launching his coaching career, Charles wrestled for the Sun Devils, where he was a two-time NCAA runner-up, and the school’s first four-time All-American (1990-1993).

Charles is the second head coach to depart from an NCAA Division I wrestling program. Last week, West Virginia University announced it was not renewing the contract of Craig Turnbull after 36 seasons.

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