News Wingate Named Gcs New Wrestling Coach - Garrett College
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Campus News

June 13th, 2023

Wingate named GC's new wrestling coach

Former collegiate wrestler excited for coaching opportunity


Coach Wingate

David Wingate thinks Garrett College will sell itself to prospective wrestlers.

"Everyone around campus really supports athletics," said GC's new head wrestling coach, who replaces program founder John Chambers. "We have our own wrestling facility, our own athletic weight room...when I came here for my interview, I was just astounded by the facilities."

Wingate believes the team atmosphere he expects to develop and the College's support system for students will also prove attractive to wrestlers and their families.

"I think parents will like our mandatory study hours, academic alerts, and all of the other academic supports that will help their child and our student athlete be successful," said Wingate. "We have a system in place to identify any challenges before it's too late. We want our student athletes to be successful academically and athletically."

Wingate, who will also be working in GC's residence life office, has had impressive personal success on and off the mat.

He won 119 matches at Columbia (NY) High School and then wrestled collegiately for two years before he stopped wrestling to concentrate on academics. Wingate then made both the Dean's List and President's List at Castleton (VT) University, where he graduated in 2021 with a degree in physical education and a special education endorsement.

"We thought David was a really good fit for Garrett College," said Eric Hallenbeck, GC's co-athletics director. "He has a tremendous work ethic. He also has the personality it takes for not only the wrestling part of the job but also the residence life part as well." Wingate spent last year coaching football at Hudson Valley (NY) Community College, but is pleased to be back in wrestling.

"Football is an awesome sport to coach, but my love of sports is through wrestling," said Wingate. "I'm being given an opportunity to be a head coach at 24 – not many opportunities come up like that.

"Coaching, for me, goes hand-in-hand with my physical education degree," added Wingate. "I'm grateful for the opportunity here – and I'm ready to start a fire underneath the Garrett College wrestling program."

Wingate said he plans to emphasize local recruiting – Garrett County and surrounding counties – augmented by recruiting in traditional wrestling hotbeds.

"In-county is going to be really important to me, emphasizing the price point," said Wingate, noting Northern and Southern wrestlers can take advantage of the Garrett County Scholarship Program. "Other surrounding counties, like Somerset [Pennsylvania] and Mineral [West Virginia], should also be productive recruiting areas.

"But I'm definitely not going to be afraid to recruit in Ohio, New York, and Pittsburgh where there are traditional high school wrestling powers," added Wingate. "We have a lot to offer those prospects."

Wingate said his initial goal is "to be competitive at every weight class" and to continue the Lakers' tradition of qualifying wrestlers for the national tournament. He noted that 2023 national qualifier EJ Guy will be back next season, and Wingate's "already recruited seven-to-nine guys – and every one of them has the potential to go to the national tournament."