May to retire as head wrestling coach

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May to retire as head wrestling coach

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After five years at Baker University, head wrestling coach Jimmy May announced his retirement effective in the summer of 2013 Monday.

May has led the wrestling program throughout its first four seasons and along the way has coached eight All-Americans and 70 national qualifiers.

“I just felt like it was time. I’ve doing this for almost 40 years and at some point it has to end,” May said. “I wanted to see this first group of seniors that I recruited that first year through, and I think it was a good time for me to exit from coaching at Baker.”

During his time at Baker, May has helped the young program reach a fourth-place national ranking, win the Kansas Cup championship, send a finalist to the national championship match in back-to-back years and post an 11-0 dual record during its first two seasons.

“I obviously didn’t do it alone, there are a lot of good people around me that helped it happen, but to look back those accomplishments, those are special,” May said. “They will always be special to me.”

Before accepting the head coaching position at Baker, May was a high school coach in Nevada for 31 years. During that tenure, he won 12 state championships, coached 63 individual state champions and was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in the Nevada Chapter.

May knew very few people in Kansas before accepting the head coaching position at Baker but graduate assistant Levi Calhoun believes he has left his mark on the community.

“He’s made a huge impact. He’s taken the program from non-existence to a nationally-ranked team in four years, which is a thing that a lot of coaches couldn’t do,” Calhoun said. “He’s embedded himself into the Baker and Baldwin (City) community very well. I think everybody around here really respects him a whole lot. I don’t know that with any other coach it could have been done the way it has been.”

Although May does not expect to return to coaching, he has accepted a new position with the admissions office as a liaison to the athletic department.

“I think the university saw a need for somebody who has been involved in athletics since half our campus is student athletes,” May said. “I think it’s kind of a natural thing to have somebody be in the admissions office that possibly knows all the coaches.”

May will also use the coming year to help the team transition under the leadership of a new head coach.

According to the official Baker University press release, Director of Athletics Theresa Yetmar will soon begin the search for a new head coach who will take over the program July 1.