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North Dakota State’s Bret Maughan chooses not to return as assistant coach

North Dakota State head wrestling coach Roger Kish (left) and assistant Bret Maughan
North Dakota State head wrestling coach Roger Kish (left) and assistant Bret Maughan
Photo courtesy of Mark Beshey, TheGuillotine.com, used with permission

Bret Maughan, assistant wrestling coach at North Dakota State for the past 13 seasons, has announced he will not be back for 2014-15, according to the Fargo-based school’s official wrestling website Monday.

This fall will be the first time a Maughan won’t be a member of the Bison coaching staff since 1963. Bret’s father Bucky Maughan was head wrestling coach at NDSU from 1964 through 2011, when University of Minnesota All-American Roger Kish took the helm. The younger Maughan had been one of a number of candidates in the running for the head coach position.

Bret Maughan’s own roots at NDSU go back more than a quarter-century, as a Bison wrestler from 1986-91. According to his official bio at the school website, he was a three-year letterman and two-time NCAA Division II All-American, placing third in 1990 and second in 1991 at 118 pounds. He was also a two-time Division I national qualifier, back when Division II and III wrestlers were eligible to compete at the Div. I championships.

"This decision was not an easy one, as Bison Wrestling has always been a huge part of my life," said Maughan. "I have had the privilege of working with many great wrestlers over the years, and I am still very fortunate to be a part of their lives."

"In my role as an assistant coach, a big part of the job is being on the mat and wrestling collegiate athletes," Maughan continued. "In the last few years, that has become more of a physical challenge for me to maintain. The time demands of coaching Division I wrestling have also continually increased over the years, to the point where the time away from my children was the tipping point."

"I have been privileged to work with a great staff, a supportive administration and for this university as a whole. I want to thank (athletic director) Gene Taylor for the opportunity to work for my alma mater. I'm looking forward to staying in the Fargo-Moorhead community, continuing my professional career in education, and having more freedom to spend time with my children," said Maughan.

Head coach Kish offered his own supportive comments about his departing assistant.

"Bret has been a crucial part of the overall success and growth of our program, especially through the years of transition to Division I," said Kish. “Bison wrestling has grown tremendously during his time here. We're very grateful for the years of hard work and dedication that Bret has given to the program."

In March, NDSU won the 2014 Western Wrestling Conference team title. Four Bison wrestlers qualified for the 2014 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, with Steven Monk earning All-American honors by placing third at 165 pounds, the best finish for a NDSU wrestler ever at the Div. I championships.