BALDWIN CITY — Bethany College wrestling coach Cody Garcia has been tabbed as the new head coach at Baker University.
The announcement was made Friday in a press release on Baker’s website.
Garcia becomes the third coach in Baker history, with the others being Jimmy May and Pete Di Pol.
Garcia served as an assistant coach for the Swedes for three years before taking over as head coach during the 2014 season after program founder Jacob Marrs resigned.
In 2014, the Swedes were 20th at the NAIA National Championships and Colby Crank was the 149-pound national runner-up. Seven individuals qualified for the national championships, the highest number in program history.
In 2015, Garcia led Bethany to a second-place finish in the Kansas Cup competition inside Baker’s Collins Center. Victor Hughes, a 149-pounder, earned All-America honors, the second in program history.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for me to continue my passion for wrestling at Baker University,” Garcia said in the press release. “I am truly blessed to be able to share that passion and continue to be a steward of the purpose I have been given in hopes of making a positive impact on those around me. Baker University has done an outstanding job at creating a winning atmosphere in the short amount of time with their wrestling program.”
Garcia went to Bethany from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, where he served as a student assistant wrestling coach. While at UNO, Garcia helped coach the 2011 squad to an NCAA Division II national championship.
Garcia was a member of the UNO wrestling team, winning individual national championships in 2006 and 2008, runner-up in 2010, and finishing third in 2009.
He was a four-time All-American and Academic All-American, graduating in 2010 with a 147-18 record, the fourth-highest number of all-time career wins at UNO since 1966. His 48 wins as a senior ranked as the second-highest number in school history, and Garcia set new UNO records of 84 career pins and 31 single-season pins.
Garcia was a three-time high school state champion and four-time state place finisher at Hutchinson High, where he wrestled for his father, Mike.
“I’m honored to have the opportunity to serve this group in hopes of building on the foundation that has been set and continuing to foster that same mindset,” Garcia said. “I recognize that commitment to excellence and am confident in the universities support and expectations for their wrestling program. That commitment will align well with my own vision for the continued success of the program in developing one of the premier wrestling programs in the nation.”