Nick Nothren, a three-time NCAA Division III All-American wrestler at Cornell College, has returned to his alma mater as an assistant coach, the Mount Vernon, Iowa school announced Friday.
Nothren, a 2010 Cornell graduate, replaces Chad Beatty, former assistant for the past two years who left two weeks ago to accept a high school teaching and coaching job in Oregon. Nothren was already on campus, having been hired during the 2013-14 academic year as assistant director of admission.
"Coach Beatty is a great coach and I have big shoes to fill," said Nothern. "Wrestling is my passion. I feel lucky to be able to coach here at Cornell. This is exactly what I've been looking for."
"I really wanted to get back into coaching and this is a great opportunity for me," said Nothern, who, prior to returning to Cornell, had served as a volunteer assistant at Bethany College in Kansas and at Iowa Lakes Community College. "(Head) Coach (Mike) Duroe and I have been in very close contact since I graduated. He's been a mentor for me this whole time I've been away. I look forward to continue to learn from him."
As a Cornell Ram wrestler, Nothern is one of seven wrestlers to earn All-America honors three times in a career. He was an NCAA runner-up at 133 pounds as a junior in 2009, placed sixth in 2008, and fifth in 2010. The Salina, Kan. Native was Iowa Conference runner-up in 2008 and 2010. Nothern helped guide the Rams to top-10 team finishes at the 2008 and 2009 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. Nothern stands sixth on the program's modern-day list with 118 wins.
"Nick is an amazing competitor," said coach Duroe, who has been head coach for a decade. "The two things that stand out are his passion for the sport and his tremendous work ethic. Both qualities will steer him well as a coach.
"Nick relates well with student-athletes and has a strong ability to recruit. We're extremely excited for him to continue to develop his skills in our program. He's a bright young coach."
Nothern earned a bachelor's degree in kinesiology from Cornell College, and received his master's in higher education from Iowa State University in 2012.
Founded in 1853, Cornell College is a private, four-year school located in Mount Vernon, Iowa, about a half-hour north of Iowa City and a similar distance east of Cedar Rapids. Although the Cornell Rams now wrestle in Division III, in 1947 – before there were NCAA divisions -- the wrestling program won the team title at the 1947 NCAAs. With only 700 students at the time, Cornell remains the smallest school to have ever won the team championship at the NCAAs.