Storm Lake, Iowa – After guiding the Buena Vista University wrestling program for the past three-plus seasons, Director of Athletics, Jan Travis, has announced that head coach Mark Schwab will step down as coach of the Beavers effective May 31, 2008.
â€œI would like to thank Coach Schwab for the efforts and leadership heâ€™s shown and put forth while guiding the Beaver wrestling program over these last four years,â€ Travis said. â€œWe hate to see him go, but want to wish him the best in all of his future endeavors.â€
Schwab became just the second coach to lead the Beavers since the start of the 1978-79 season when he was hired in 2004 following the retirement of legendary coach, Al Baxter. To this point, the 2007 Iowa Conference Coach of the Year has seen his squads improve from a pair of seventh-place finishes to last seasonâ€™s fourth-place finish at the Iowa Conference Championships. The same can also be said at the NCAA Tournament, where his squads placed 30th and 21st, respectively, in his first two seasons, to a seventh-place standing a year ago.
Schwab says he will step down with plenty of good memories from his time guiding the Beavers.
â€œThere were sure a lot of good moments here,â€ Schwab said. â€œWhat I consider best moments are small things overall – like guys breaking thru, winning hard fought matches. I loved it when we could celebrate as a team.â€
BVUâ€™s seventh-place team finish at the 2007 National Tournament was the programâ€™s highest since placing fifth back in 2002. BVUâ€™s fourth-place finish during last yearâ€™s Iowa Conference Championships was its highest since taking fourth in 2001.
To this point, Schwab has coached one individual conference champion and five All-Americans during his tenure, while also having a pair of wrestlers earn Scholar All-American accolades and one earn Academic All-Conference honors.
â€œIt was a very challenging experience, and there is an awful lot to being a head coach in any sport; much more than most would think,â€ Schwab added. â€œWith the three recruiting classes we had in, it was interesting to see just how much an individual differs from the next but yet how predicable we can all be. This experience was a hands-on dealing with people in all their stages of highs and lows. Itâ€™s personal education for future endeavors.â€
â€œWe are very sad to see Coach Schwab step down,â€ said BVU President Fred Moore. â€œHe has led our wrestling program with tremendous distinction and character. At the same time, I understand his desire to start a new chapter in his life and wish him well. BVU has a proud wrestling tradition, and we will move swiftly to name a new head coach to lead us into the future.â€
A search for a replacement will begin immediately.
Buena Vista Sports Information (thanks to InterMat for the link)