Worcester, MA – WPI Director of Physical Education, Recreation and Athletics, Dana L. Harmon, announced today the hiring of Lance Baden as the Head Wrestling Coach. Baden replaces Sean Nelligan, who takes over the role of lead assistant after guiding the team the last two seasons.
Baden returns to Boynton Hill after a Hall of Fame career as a wrestler and six years as an assistant coach from 2000-2006 under the tutelage of legendary coach Phil Grebinar and Nelligan.
“Lance has been an outstanding member of the WPI Wrestling family – first as a student-athlete, then as an assistant coach and now as our head coach,” said Harmon. “We look forward to him leading our program for many years.”
Baden ended his distinguished career at WPI as a two-time captain and was named an All-American in his sophomore year. He was also a two-time New England champion in two different weight classes; the 177-pound class as a sophomore and the 184-pound class as a senior. Baden was a four-time All-New England place winner and owns a 46-11 dual meet record for a .807 percentage.
“It’s great to be back with the program; It was really hard for me last year to be away from it,â€ stated Baden. â€œI was really honored when Sean and Dana asked me to come back and lead the program. I know that this team means the world to Sean and he is going to continue to be an integral part of our program as he will still be the key guy as far as teaching technique and developing the talent in our practice room.â€
A major part of WPI record books, Baden is fourth in pins in one season (10), fifth in career pins (23), seventh in individual career points (233), eighth in dual wins (46), eighth in pin percentage in one season (.625), and ninth in career pin percentage (.404). Heâ€™s also third in consecutive pins in one season (5) and fourth in pins in less than one minute in his career (4).
â€œThere’s nowhere else that I would want to coach,â€ stated Baden. â€œWe’re highly motivated to get WPI back to the top of the division and develop as many New England Champions and All-Americans as possible.â€
In high school, Baden won the state title as a senior at Framingham High and after placing third in the state in his junior year. He was also a two-time sectional champion and placed fifth in New England.
Before coaching at WPI, Baden was an assistant coach at MIT during the 1999-2000. Since 1999, he has worked as a project manager at Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc, based in Watertown, MA. Baden has refereed as a high school referee since 1995 and currently serves on the Executive Board of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Wrestling Officials Association.