Walnut Ridge, Ark. - The Williams Baptist College athletic department announced the first Greco-Roman head coach in school history on Wednesday afternoon. The school appointed Jonathan Drendel to lead the newly founded program.
Drendel is a former NAIA National Qualifier for the WBC wrestling team. He currently serves as a student assistant on the folk-style wrestling team at Williams.
The North Aurora, Ill., native was a junior national champion, as well as university national champion in the Greco-Roman wrestling style. He has also been named All-American multiple times.
"Coach Drendel has been with our wrestling program since its infancy. He was an outstanding student-athlete for us and has developed a great reputation as a student-assistant coach. With his background in the Greco-Roman style, he has the experience and leadership ability to succeed," said Director of Athletics Jeff Rider.
As Drendel works to complete his degree at Williams, Kerry Regner (current Eagles wrestling head coach) will lead the recruiting efforts for the first year program. Upon completion of his degree this May, Drendel will take on all responsibilities within the Greco-Roman program.
"I am excited for this great opportunity. I look forward to giving back to this school, as well as the sport of wrestling. I am looking forward to accomplishing a lot with this program," said the newly appointed Drendel.
Williams becomes the second collegiate school in the country to participate in this specific style of wrestling. The style is more popular with athletes who aspire to compete at the olympic level. The main difference between folk-style and Greco-Roman is that the latter restricts the wrestlers ability to attack below the waist or attacking with legs.
"My teams will work hard, smart, and with an emphasis on the newest levels of training. We want guys to be prepared for the next level of national and international competition," said Drendel.
Drendel is the son of Kevin and Beth Drendel of North Aurora, Ill.
"I would like to thank Coach Regner, my high school coach, Mike DiNovo, as well as Ivan Ivanov, my coach at Northern Michigan, and my parents for always pushing me to make it to the next level of my career on and off the mat," summed up Drendel. "My accomplishments would not be possible without their contributions."