St. John replaces Bret Maughan, assistant wrestling coach at NDSU for the past 13 seasons, who announced in May he would not be back for the 2014-15 season. The former Hawkeye joins assistant coach Manny Rivera and head coach Roger Kish, both University of Minnesota graduates, on a staff that now features a distinctive Big Ten flavor.
St. John won the 157-pound title at the 2013 NCAAs, defeating Northwestern’s Jason Welch in the finals. The Parnell, Iowa native was four-time NCAA All-American, and two-time finalist, losing to Cornell University’s Kyle Dake at the 2012 NCAAs. In addition, St. John was a three-time Big Ten championship finalist, winning the conference crown in 2012. St. John concluded his collegiate career in 2014 with a record of 106-17. In addition, St. John earned special honors, being named Mike Howard Most Valuable Wrestler his championship season, and a two-time winner of the Mike J. McGivern Award for most courageous Hawkeye wrestler, according to his official Iowa wrestling bio.
"We are thrilled to be able to add a guy of Derek's caliber and experience to our program at North Dakota State," said Bison head coach Kish. "His values, philosophy and vision are right in line with what we expect at NDSU."
"He's proven himself as one of the nation's elite competitors, and his achievements at the Big Ten and NCAA levels speak for themselves."
The newest member of the Bison coaching staff is equally eager to get started.
"I'm excited to join the North Dakota State wrestling program and to be a part of Coach Kish's staff," said St. John. "I look forward to building on the tradition and the success that have already been established here, and I know we will work hard to take it to the next level."