Willis selected UMO women’s wrestling coach

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Dan Willis has been named the new women’s wrestling coach at the University of Mount Olive.

Jeff Eisen, vice president for athletics, made the announcement.

“We conducted a national search for a head women’s wrestling coach, but in the end, the best candidate was right here in Mount Olive the whole time,” Eisen said. “Dan has done a great job with our men’s program and he undoubtedly will also do a great job with the women.”

Willis joined UMO in 2020 and, during his first season, led the Trojans to their best dual-team record (3-5) in school history. He also sent 157-pounder Colby Teague to the NCAA Division II national tournament.

The university announced in September it would add women’s wrestling, giving it the distinction as the first Division II school in North Carolina to offer the sport. There are currently 45 intercollegiate women’s wrestling programs among NCAA Division I, II and III schools.

UMO will begin competition in 2022-23 and wrestle as an independent.

“I have always felt that the sport of wrestling changes lives in a positive way, so I feel like this is an opportunity for me to now positively impact women’s lives,” said Williams, a former Division II All-American at UNC Pembroke who notched 102 career wins. 

“I’m ready to hit the recruiting trails and I’m looking forward to helping the sport of women’s wrestling grow. I am very appreciative of the University of Mount Olive for giving me this opportunity.”

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