Two-and-a-half months after announcing it was adding men’s wrestling, Daniel Webster College has hired John Archambeau to head up that new mat program, the New Hampshire-based school revealed Thursday.
A native of Ludlow, Mass., Archambeau brings a blend of on-the-mat and coaching experience, as well as military service, to Daniel Webster’s wrestling program, which is slated to begin action in the 2014-15 season. For the past two-and-a-half years, he has served as a graduate assistant coach at Springfield College, where he also wrestled.
During Archambeau’s time on the coaching staff, Springfield’s wrestling program could claim 13 NCAA Division III all-regional honorees, eight national qualifiers, four All Americans, two Academic All-Americans, and one national champion, Devin Biscaha, at 157 pounds. Those two seasons with Archambeau on board, the Springfield Pride finished first in 2013 at the New England Wrestling Association's (NEWA) Conference dual meet and placed second in 2014.
Archambeau came to Springfield in 2006, as a two-time Massachusetts state champ from Ludlow High School. In a February 2014 profile in the Springfield Student, Archambeau said he needed a break from school after his freshman year, so he signed on with the Air Force Reserves, and came back one year later with greater maturity and focus in the classroom and in the sport. That was not the end of his military service; before his senior year, Archambeau was deployed to Afghanistan. Upon his return to Springfield, Archambeau became team captain, earning NEWA (New England Wrestling Association) All-Conference honors in both 2010 and 2011.
Chris Gilmore, Daniel Webster’s Director of Athletics, believes those experiences will help prepare Archambeau for the rigors of launching a brand-new wrestling program.
"I'm very pleased to welcome John to the Daniel Webster athletics family," said Gilmore. "He possesses a terrific acumen and has shown terrific enthusiasm to take on the challenge of building our wrestling program from the ground up. He is a true teacher of the sport and has the passion and knowledge we were looking for. With his guidance, we look forward to establishing a consistently winning program over the coming seasons."
Archambeau responded, "I am excited to be a part of a new first year program in the world's oldest sport and thank (DWC) President (Michael) Diffily and Mr. Gilmore for giving me this amazing opportunity. It is a very unique, once in a lifetime experience. I am also very excited be able to coach at the college level and do everything I can to ensure the student-athletes grow and develop on and off the mat to reach their fullest potential."
"My first year I want to get as many incoming freshman and students already attending DWC to participate in this program to help it become a success from the start," Archambeau continued. "I want to establish early on that the top goals for our athletes is to get a quality education, and to be successful in the classroom and on the wrestling mat, which I know will happen through hard work, commitment, and dedication."
In late February, Daniel Webster College announced the addition of men’s wrestling, along with a women’s hockey program, and an upgrade of the men’s hockey program to varsity status. The wrestling program will compete as a NCAA Division III independent while seeking conference affiliation in the near future.
Founded in 1965, Daniel Webster College is a private, co-educational college located in Nashua, New Hampshire. It has an enrollment of 600 students. The team mascot is the Eagles.