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Ben Cherrington steps down as Northern Colorado head wrestling coach

Ben Cherrington as head wrestling coach at University of Northern Colorado
Ben Cherrington as head wrestling coach at University of Northern ColoradoPhoto courtesy of University of Northern Colorado, used with permssion

Ben Cherrington, head wrestling coach at University of Northern Colorado since 2009, has resigned, the wrestling website for the Greeley-based school reported Wednesday.

The same website lists Ben VomBaur, UNC assistant coach since 2010 and a teammate of Cherrington’s at Boise State, as the wrestling program’s new interim coach.

The statement said that Cherrington had resigned to “pursue other interests outside of coaching.”

"I would like to thank all the people that have supported me during my tenure at UNC,” said Cherrington. “I made a lot of friends and was fortunate enough to coach some great young men along the way. My time at UNC has been a good time. It has not been without its challenges, but I feel like we have made some great strides in setting a foundation that the wrestling program can build on.

"Stepping away has been one of the toughest decisions I have ever had to make, but for many reasons I feel like it is the right time to allow someone else to lead this program. I am confident that Darren (Dunn, Director of Athletics) and Ayo (Taylor-Dixon, Senior Associate Athletic Director) will make a great decision in choosing a new head coach and that UNC Wrestling will continue to achieve new heights."

"We want to thank Ben for his leadership of the program and building a foundation for future success over his five years as head coach," said Director of Athletics Darren Dunn. "We appreciate his dedication to Collegiate Wrestling and wish him luck in his future endeavors."

Prior to being named interim head coach in 2009 – upon the retirement of Jack Maughan – then elevated to head coach the following season, Cherrington had been an assistant coach at Northern Colorado for two seasons.

Cherrington’s time at the helm at UNC had mixed results. His Bears had managed to qualify at least one wrestler for the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships for his first three seasons. Justin Gaethje earned NCAA All-American honors by placing seventh at 157 pounds at the 2010 NCAAs, becoming the first UNC wrestler to place at the NCAAs in the 40-year history of the program. However, during Cherrington’s tenure, the Bears earned a 16-52 record in duals action.

A national search for Cherrington's successor will begin immediately, according to the school.

As a wrestler, Cherrington made a name for himself in high school and college. At Middle Park High School in Granby, he compiled a 141-3 record, and won three Colorado state titles. At Boise State University, Cherrington was a 2006 NCAA Division I champ at 157 pounds, and a three-time Pac-10 Conference titlewinner.