The Bearcat is now a Big Red, as Donnie Vinson, an NCAA All-American wrestler for Binghamton University, is now a volunteer assistant coach at Cornell University, the Ithaca, N.Y. school announced Wednesday.
Vinson, who served as a graduate assistant for the Binghamton Bearcats this past season, is moving into the volunteer coaching position formerly held by Cornell superstar Kyle Dake, who has moved into a full-time club coach/athlete role after serving as Cornell’s volunteer assistant for a year.
“I believe it is in Kyle’s best interest to devote more time to his training in preparation for next year’s World Championships and ultimately the Olympics,” Cornell head coach Rob Koll told “New York Wrestling News”. “It was not my original intent to keep Kyle permanently [as volunteer assistant]. Ultimately what is best for our program is to help Kyle win a World and Olympic gold. His best opportunity to achieve these goals is for him to devote more time to his personal training and competition. He will still be permitted to train and coach our Cornell athletes in the practice room."
In his year working with Binghamton head coach Matt Dernlan’s grad assistant, Vinson helped develop a pair of qualifiers for the 2014 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, including EIWA (Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association) runner-up Cody Reed at 197 pounds. Reed would later become just the second Bearcat wrestler in program history to advance to the NCAA quarterfinals. Binghamton had five place winners and tied for seventh in the school's debut at the EIWA Championships.
As a wrestler, Vinson earned All-American honors at 149 pounds at the 2012 NCAAs. He is Binghamton’s career wins leader with a 132-27 career record. A two-time Colonial Athletic Association Wrestler of the Year, Vinson was named the CAA Championships’ Most Outstanding Wrestler as a senior. Vinson also was named the Binghamton athletic department’s Athlete of the Year, and received the John Bilos Alumni Award, given to the top senior male for outstanding career performances as a Bearcat.