Athletic department hires new head wrestling coach

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The Baker University Athletic Department announced Tuesday that it has hired Pete Di Pol as the Wildcats’ new head wrestling coach.

Before accepting the position at BU, Di Pol served as the head coach at Gloucester County College in Sewell, N.J., since 2011. He coached 19 national qualifiers during that time, including one national finalist.

Di Pol said he is eager to take over Baker’s young program, which finished the 2013 season ranked No. 15 in the NAIA.

“I’m really excited that (retiring head coach Jimmy May) is going to help mentor me and that we are keeping the same coaches, so there’s not going to be a lot of change coming in,” Di Pol said. “I’m going to try do something different, but what’s been done has been working, so why mess with that?”

At Gloucester, Di Pol was the 2012 and 2013 Coach of Year in Region 19 and the Garden State Athletic Conference after compiling a 23-6 record.

“My goals at Gloucester County College were to be national champions, and we finished fourth (in 2012) and fifth (in 2013), and my goal here is no different,” Di Pol said. “Coming in there, our goal is to win a national title, and I think if that’s not your goal, then I don’t know why you would be in the coaching business.”

Di Pol met with the team via a Skype interview Tuesday, and said the meeting went well despite technical difficulties.

Pete Di Pol, new Baker head wrestling coach, celebrates with his team at Gloucester County College in Sewell, N.J.

“I think the kids know that I am a very positive person and I am willing to go in there and work hard, and do all the right things, mentor them and make sure that they are successful,” Di Pol said.

Sophomore Dylan Coppenbarger said having Di Pol step in will certainly be a change for the team, but the Wildcats are willing to put in the extra work.

“It will be a lot different … I think everybody liked him, so they are going to work hard for him and are ready to move on,” Coppenbarger said.

Di Pol accepted his first head coaching job at the age of 22 and coached at the high school level in New Jersey for 15 years. He left that tenure with a 225-67 record before taking over the program at GCC.

In the official Baker University press release, Director of Athletics Theresa Yetmar said the athletic department is looking forward to having Di Pol join the program and continuing the team’s “winning tradition.”

“In the search for our new head coach, Pete set himself apart with his outstanding credentials and his ability to communicate a vision for Baker wrestling moving forward.”

Di Pol said he has a positive coaching style and works to develop strong communication and rapport with his athletes.

“I think one of my assets is that I am very energetic, “ Di Pol said. “I am a very good motivator, and one of my biggest assets is that I am a very good communicator. I’m a big believer in building relationships with student-athletes … I think that’s beneficial, and that’s what I bring to the table.”ving forward.”

Di Pol said he has a positive coaching style and works to develop strong communication and rapport with his athletes.

“I think one of my assets is that I am very energetic, “ Di Pol said. “I am a very good motivator, and one of my biggest assets is that I am a very good communicator. I’m a big believer in building relationships with student-athletes … I think that’s beneficial, and that’s what I bring to the table.”