If you’re a young wrestling coach looking to head up your first high school program far from home, it doesn’t hurt to have one of the all-time wrestling greats go to the mat for you.
That’s what happened for Chad Beatty, a two-time NCAA qualifier for the University of Iowa. The former head assistant wrestling coach at Cornell College of Iowa will now take the helm of the mat program at Forest Grove High School in Oregon, thanks in part to a phone call from Dan Gable, “The Oregonian” reported Thursday, July 17.
Forest Grove athletic director Doug Thompson said that he received a phone call from Gable, making a strong case for Thompson to hire Beatty.
"When Dan Gable calls and tells you this guy is one of the best young coaches in Iowa, you probably better hire him," Thompson said of the 1972 Olympic gold medalist, Iowa State wrestling champ and former Iowa head coach who guided the Hawkeyes to 16 NCAA team titles in his 21 years at the helm. "(Gable) said he's watched him throughout his career and had the opportunity to coach him for a year, and he said he's just one of those young men that you want around your athletes and around your students at a high school."
In taking the head coaching job at the nearly 2,000-student school outside Portland, Beatty replaces Frank Johnson, who left the Vikings after 11 seasons to become head coach of the new men’s and women’s wrestling programs at Warner Pacific College in Portland, slated to take to the mat this fall.
In addition to heading up the Vikings wrestling program, Beatty will also teach art and drafting at Forest Grove High. Beatty graduated from Iowa with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 3D Design in May 2010.
Although this is his first high school head coaching position, the 27-year-old Iowan brings impressive wrestling and coaching credentials to his new job.
Beatty had been head assistant coach for the Cornell Rams Division III wrestling program for the past two seasons. The Mt. Vernon, Iowa college announced Beatty’s resignation via Twitter on July 2.
Prior to his time at Cornell College, Beatty was an assistant coach at nearby Iowa City West High School, one of the powerhouse prep wrestling programs in the state. Under Beatty’s guidance, the school could claim four individual state champions and five wrestlers who went on to compete in NCAA Division I in college.
As a wrestler at University of Iowa, Beatty was a four-time letterman and two-time qualifier for the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships at 197 pounds, compiling an overall record of 50-25. He was a two-time recipient of the Mike J. McGivern Award, presented annually to the team's most courageous wrestler. During Beatty’s time as a Hawkeye, the program won three consecutive NCAA team titles (2008-10).
Beatty first made a name for himself on the mat at Wilton High School just east of Iowa City. He was a two-time Iowa state champion at 171 pounds, compiling an impressive 109-7 overall mark. Beatty set school records for most takedowns in a season (174) and career (388), most match points in a season (465) and career (1,173), and most technical falls in a season (10) and career (22).
Beatty is one of two new head coaches hired by Forest Grove High. The Iowan joins Todd Naskedov who was named head baseball coach at the same time.
"I'm feeling very good about our two guys we have coming to the Grove,” said Thompson. “I would say 'elated' would be an understatement right now."