Friday the 13th brought good fortune to former Northwestern University wrestler Jake Herbert.
New head coach Drew Pariano announced on August 13 that Herbert — one of Northwestern’s most decorated wrestlers — would be joining the NU wrestling staff as a volunteer assistant coach. Herbert, who is a member of the US men’s freestyle wrestling team, will return to the Wildcat wrestling room in September following his bid for a gold medal at the 2010 World Championships in Moscow. (Herbert brought home the silver medal in the 84kg weight class from the 2009 World Championships in Denmark.)
“Jake Herbert is one of the most dominating wrestlers in the United States right now and has trained at the most elite levels for several years,” Pariano said. “Having him in our room on a daily basis immediately elevates the competitiveness of our training. When it comes to mastering technique and thorough preparation for a match, Jake is one of the best mentors a college wrestler could have.”
While at Northwestern, Herbert compiled a sparkling overall record of 135-4, winning the 184-pound title at the 2007 NCAA Division I Championships (defeating Iowa State’s Jake Varner in the finals) and at the 2009 NCAAs, beating defending champ Mike Pucillo of Ohio State in the title match. With the two national championships, the native of Wexford, PA joined 1931-1932 NCAA heavyweight champ Jack Riley as Northwestern’s only two-time NCAA champions. Herbert is also only the second four-time All-American in school history.
Herbert gathered a number of awards as a Wildcat. In 2009, he was awarded the Hodge Trophy, presented by WIN (Wrestling Insider Newsmagazine) to the best collegiate wrestler in the nation. Also that year Herbert garnered the Jesse Owens Award as Best Male Athlete of the Year for the Big Ten conference, and was named RevWrestling.com (now InterMat) Wrestler of the Year.
“I’m thankful to Drew and Tim Cysewski [former NU head coach] for asking me back to be part of their team on a full-time basis,” Herbert said. “I love Northwestern wrestling and I never would have been so successful in college or on the international level without their assistance. We have a great team coming back this year so I’m excited to give back and do what I can to keep Northwestern among the best programs in the country.”
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Northwestern University wrestling: World silver medalist Jake Herbert joins NU coaching staff
Northwestern University wrestling: Jake Herbert bio
Jake Herbert: Official website
Scott Casber of Takedown Radio (TDR): Audio interview with Jake Herbert
College Wrestling 101: Links to articles answering basic questions about wrestling, including rules, scoring, uniforms, more
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