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California Baptist names Andrew Nicola its new assistant coach

Andrew Nicola, new assistant coach at California Baptist University
Andrew Nicola, new assistant coach at California Baptist University
Photo courtesy California Baptist University, used with permission

Andrew Nicola is joining the coaching staff of the California Baptist University wrestling program as an assistant coach, the Riverside, Calif. school announced Monday.

Nicola will be working with Lancers head wrestling coach Lennie Zalesky and assistant Arsen Aleksanyan, according to the school's updated coaching roster.

A native of Fort Wayne, Ind., Nicola wrestled at Indiana University, and has coached at the collegiate level at Cumberland University, University of Central Missouri, and Calumet College of St. Joseph.

For the past two seasons, Nicola served as an assistant coach at Cumberland in Lebanon, Tenn., where he was responsible for conducting practice, demonstrating technique and recruiting for the Bulldogs as well as arranging travel and helping with the schedule each season. Nicola also handled ordering gear for the squad, monitoring student-athlete grades and class attendance and scheduling community service and community support activities for the club.

In his tenure at Cumberland, the Bulldogs finished 14th in the 2014 NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) Wrestling Championships, with a program-record three student-athletes – Zeke Hunt, Jake Williams and Cody Linton – all earning All-America honors.

Prior to Cumberland, Nicola worked two years as an assistant coach at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Mo., and spent one season as an assistant coach at Calumet College of St. Joseph in Whiting, Ind.

Nicola also holds coaching experience at the international level as a USA Wrestling Silver Certified coach, serving on the Indiana National Team coaching staff over the last 12 years. He was a Team USA Senior World Team Coaching Ambassador in 2013, traveling to Budapest, Hungary for the World Championships. In 2012, Nicola was named the 2012 Indiana Cadet/Junior Coach of the Year.

"Andrew is very good in the areas we are looking to improve," said CBU head coach Zalesky.”He is well connected to the national wrestling community and has a very good understanding of the things we need to do to bring our team up another level."

"I am very excited to work with Coach Zalesky and Coach Aleksanyan," Nicola said. "These two coaches have a wealth of knowledge and are proven winners. I have so much to learn about the sport and about coaching, and I am confident that these are the two that I want mentoring me. They lead by example in every facet of their lives. I am eager to help bring CBU wrestling to national prominence."

"[President] Dr. Ronald Ellis, [Vice President] Kent Dacus and [Director of Athletics] Dr. Micah Parker have blessed me with a great opportunity to join the CBU family," Nicola said. "The school is growing and is very invested in the athletic programs. The school support and community support are second to none, and this will -- without a doubt -- be a great place for me."

Founded in 1950 by the California Southern Baptist Convention, California Baptist University is located in Riverside, in southern California. The school has approximately 7,100 students, according to the school’s website.