LINDSBORG — Bethany College has a new wrestling coach.
Larry Nugent was announced today as the replacement for Cody Garcia, who recently took the head coaching job at Baker University.
Nugent brings collegiate and professional coaching experience to the position. Most recently he was the Director of Development at USA Wrestling, where he tracked private donor support, recorded corporate sponsorship revenue and was in charge of special events.
Prior to that, Nugent was the associate producer and on-air talent with USA Broadcasting and USA Wrestling. Nugent worked with ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, Fox Sports, Oxygen Sports, Public Television and in 2001 was the NWMA Broadcaster of the Year.
"Coach Nugent brings a wealth of experience to Bethany College,” Bethany Athletic Director Dane Pavlovich said in a press release. “His depth of knowledge of wrestling will allow our program to reach new heights in the NAIA, and I am excited to see him continue our student-athletes' development on and off the mat. Coach Nugent is a tremendous addition to Bethany College and we welcome him to Swede Nation.”
Nugent's coaching career started in 1980 when he was on the staff as an assistant coach at Southern Oregon University. The Raiders won the NAIA National Championship in 1983 and finished in second place in 1986.
Nugent then was the head coach and an Adjunct Instructor at Pacific University from 1993-1995. In his first year he produced five All-Americans. In his second season, Nugent was voted as the Conference Coach of the Year and produced the first national champion at the college in five years.
Next, Nugent moved to BYU to be an assistant coach and was there for three seasons. He helped qualify three wrestlers to the NCAA D-I Championships, they had none qualify the three previous seasons. As a team, BYU qualified for the NWCA All-Academic second team in 1998. In all three years Nugent was with the Cougars, they had a Top-15 national recruiting class. Nugent also helped to start ticket sales and a ticket marketing program to boost attendance to an average of 900 people.
"It is both an honor and very exciting to join the Bethany College family as its new head wrestling coach,” Nugent said in a press release. “Athletics are a great compliment to education, and I consider it a noble mission to guide and mentor Swede student-athletes as they reach their competitive athletic and academic goals. Both will greatly assist them in life's challenges post-graduation. Special thanks to Dane Pavlovich and all of Bethany College leadership for this opportunity.”
Nugent holds his Bachelors of Science in Health-Physical Education and his Masters of Science in Education from Southern Oregon University.