Boiling Springs, N.C. - The Gardner-Webb Athletics Department is
pleased to announce the promotion of Daniel Elliott to Head Coach of the Wrestling
program. Elliott served as the Associate Head Coach for the last two seasons
and has been on the GWU wrestling coaching staff for the last seven years.
Elliott will take over for former
head coach Dick Wince who retired at the conclusion of the 2011-12 season after
22 years at Gardner-Webb University.
"Daniel came here as a student-athlete in 2001, and it has
been a pleasure to watch him mature and grow into a coach worthy of this
position in just over 10 years," said Vice President for Athletics Chuck Burch.
"His drive and enthusiasm will serve him well, as will his love for this
University and wrestling program.
"I am extremely
excited about the opportunity to be the next head wrestling coach at
Gardner-Webb University. It is a special
feeling to be able to coach at one's alma mater and I am truly thankful for the
chance to continue to be a part of the development of this program," commented
over to the bench as a coach, Elliott has seen at least one GWU wrestler make
it to the NCAA Championships in five of the last six years, including watching
a record-tying four student-athletes qualify for nationals in 2010-11.
In 2010, Dustin
Porter, who reached the NCAA Championships in each of the four years from
2007-10, became GWU's first four-time qualifier, while fellow GWU grappler Rob
Tate reached the Championships in 2006-07, earning the Runnin' Bulldogs lone
victory at the national event that season.
classroom, redshirt-sophomore Alex Medved was tabbed as a 2011 National
Wrestling Coaches Association National Academic All-American, one of 92
student-athletes across the nation to receive this academic recognition.
Jonathan Velazquez was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler at the 2011 NCAA
East Regional Championships, as he helped lead GWU to a second-place overall
team finish with a total of 74.5 points at the meet. Velazquez, along with
Travis Porter and both Alex and Ryan Medved, were crowned East Regional
Champions in their respective weight classes and qualified for the national
Gardner-Webb had four grapplers' record over 20 wins on the season, while six
wrestlers posted winning records on the year.
"Daniel has learned and gained a wealth of
knowledge and wisdom from one of his mentors, Coach Dick Wince, as both a
student-athlete and a coach," added Burch. "We continue to be grateful to Coach
Wince for his tireless efforts in building our wrestling program over the past
two decades. We are excited for Daniel to be able to continue building on that
worked hard in raising money for the GWU Wrestling program and its new
facility. His fundraising efforts allowed the Runnin' Bulldog wrestling
program to move into a new building for the 2010-11 season, which when fully
renovated will be one of the nicest wrestling only facilities in all of NCAA
Division I with offices, locker room, team room, bathrooms and a large practice
wrestling program has undergone several changes in the recent year ranging from
our move into the Southern Conference to the current training facility. During my past few
years as associate head coach, Coach Wince has given me the trust and guidance
to take over several areas of the program," added Coach Elliott. "I am excited to continue to grow
as a coach and as a program. We will continue to
work to bring quality people to Gardner-Webb who will buy into the goals of the
wrestling program as we work to improve. This is a very vital time in a young person's growth, and I look
forward to helping our athletes grow into citizens that Gardner-Webb will be
career for the Runnin' Bulldogs, Elliott was a two-time NCAA Qualifier. He was
also a two-time regional champion at 149 pounds. In his last regional meet,
Elliott was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler. He finished the regular season
with a record of 39-2 during his senior campaign and was ranked 10th in the
nation in the final standings.
the school record for career wins, single-season wins in addition to
consecutive wins. He also led the team in each of his last three seasons in
In the spring
of 2008, Elliott competed in the USA Wrestling Northeast Regional and placed
third in his weight class, marking the first time that he had placed at a
University holds a very special part of my heart. I have been
associated with this university for over ten years now, starting as a student
and now becoming the head coach of the wrestling program. I believe
wholeheartedly in the mission of the school, the athletic department and the
wrestling program. I have been changed
as a person during my time here at Gardner-Webb and look forward to helping our
team members grow as men," remarked Elliott.
graduated in May 2006 with a double major in history and communications.
Elliott then went on to earn his masters in sports sciences and pedagogy from
Gardner-Webb in the summer of 2008.
would like to thank Dr. Bonner, Mr. Burch and the rest of the Gardner-Webb
administration for putting their trust and faith into me as I take over the
wrestling program. This is an exciting
time in the program's history and I am thankful to be a part of this
transition," continued Coach Elliott.
the Gardner-Webb wrestling program's first year as associate members of the
Southern Conference, the Runnin' Bulldog grapplers posted a 6-12 dual match
record and a 2-5 record in conference dual match action for the season.
injuries all season long, the Runnin' Bulldogs were able to post a sixth-place
finish at the 2012 Southern Conference Wrestling Championship in March, scoring
a team total of 21 points as three wrestlers placed in fourth-place or higher
in their respective weight classes. However, for the first time in the
program's 12-year Division I history, the Runnin' Bulldogs did not send a
wrestler to the NCAA National Championships.
program's first ever postseason conference championship tournament,
redshirt-junior Travis Porter, who suffered a fall in the True Second match at
197 pounds at the conference championship tournament, took third-place overall,
while fellow teammates Alex Medved (157 pounds) and Justin Guthrie (165 pounds)
each placed fourth in their weight classes.
and Guthrie each posted 19 overall wins on the season to lead the team, while
redshirt-senior Michael Slaughter finished his career out at GWU on a high note
with 16 total combined wins at 125 and 133 pounds, respectively.