The 2018 d3wrestle.com Coach of the Year is Eric Keller of Wartburg. Keller coached the Knights to their 7th NCAA championship in the past eight years and their 14th overall. Wartburg brought nine wrestlers to the NCAA Championships and came home with eight All-Americans, five finalists, and three NCAA champions in Brock Rathbun, Cross Cannone, and Kyle Fank. Rathbun is the first freshman national champion in team history. The Knights scored 136.5 points to outdistance 2nd place Augsburg by 54.5 points and had the highest point total at the Division III championships since 2012. Logan Thomsen, Mike Ross, Eric DeVos, Tyler Lutes, and Lance Evans joined Rathbun, Cannone, and Fank on the podium in Cleveland.
Keller coached Wartburg to its 26th consecutive Iowa Intercollegiate Athletics Conference championship as well as its sixth straight regional championship. Wartburg finished the year with an 18-2 record and finished second at the National Duals. The Knights are currently riding a 205 match IIAC dual meet winning streak.
Keller returned to Wartburg for the 2006-2007 after a stint as the head coach at North Central College. In 2010, he was promoted to co-head coach and continued on in 2012 as head coach upon the retirement of Jim Miller. Keller was the d3wrestle.com Coach of the Year in 2015 and 2017 and was the co-winner in 2012 with Jim Miller. Congratulations to Eric Keller, the 2018 d3wrestle.com Coach of the Year.
Previous Coach of the Year Winners
2017 – Eric Keller, Wartburg
2016 – Bryan Brunk, Messiah
2015 – Eric Keller, Wartburg
2014 – Tim Fader, Whitewater
2013 – Steve Marianetti, Elmhurst
2012 – Jim Miller & Eric Keller, Wartburg
2011 – Mark Hawald, Mount Union
2010 – Dave Malecek, La Crosse