CaptainU’s Winter 2014 College Coaches of the Year were recently chosen and we want you to “meet” the coaches themselves.
Eric Keller, the DIII Men’s Wrestling coach at Wartburg College, was chosen for becoming the first program since the opening of DIII festivities in 1974 to win four consecutive team titles. This was Keller’s first full season as head coach, as the last 3 seasons he was co-head coach with legendary coach Jim Miller.
3 of Keller’s Knights won individual titles at Championships.
Congratulations Wartburg and Coach Keller for making history and for your excellent season!
How did you get into coaching your sport?
I have always had a passion for Coaching. I think a lot of this stems from my Father always being my coach throughout my youth regardless of the sport. I saw how much he enjoyed helping kids reach their potential and the constant positive reinforcement that he gave, while teaching the sometimes hard lessons that would go along with it. Wrestling has always been the sport I love the most. I knew someday I wanted to coach wrestling. I wasn’t sure back then what level, but knew I wanted to coach.
What do you like most about being a coach?
There is nothing more rewarding then helping young men get their dream.(on and off the mat) Every young man that comes here has a different background, different story, different mindset. My passion and what I love most about what I get to do, is regardless of their past, I get to help them develop their future. Helping them redefine what is possible, redefine what their “perceived”
limits are. Helping them understand there doesn’t have to be any limits to what’s possible. Changing the way people think and helping them to reach that goal inspires me every day. I feel absolutely blessed beyond belief that I get to do that every day.
What are you most proud of from this past season?
This team accomplished HISTORY. No team in Division 3 wrestling had ever won 4 national titles in row. This team accomplished that. This senior class won everything in their four years here. Four conference titles, four national dual titles and four NCAA titles. And the best part is they won with class. It’s a great group of young men who will all graduate and are prepared to go out and make an impact in the world. I couldn’t be more proud of this group.
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