One of the top programs in all of college sports is preparing for its first season after a change in leadership. After leading Wartburg to 10 Division III national wrestling championships, including the last three titles, head coach Jim Miller stepped down after last season.
The Knights are on the eve of their first campaign post-Miller, but the program’s new leader says their goals have not changed. Eric Keller spent the last three years as Miller’s co-head coach and says that the Knights are still looking to be in the national title hunt. “The expectations for this program remain the same and our guys know the expectations as well, our expectations as coaching staff are the same as their expectations,” Keller says. He says they know it would be history to win four titles in a row and see that as an opportunity.
Keller says it will definitely be different not having Miller involved in the program on a daily basis as he says it will mostly be a changed when it’s time to go to tournaments. Miller still works within the Wartburg athletic department, but just how involved he’ll be with the program has not yet been determined.
Keller says he knows the chance to win the 4th title is something that will motivate his wrestlers. “We don’t talk about it a lot, but I know that senior class doesn’t want to talk a lot about it among themselves, it is a crazy accomplishment,” Keller says.
The Knights are ranked #1 in the National Wrestling Coaches Association’s preseason poll. They’ll open the season on November 16.
(Reporting by Jesse Gavin, KCNZ, Cedar Falls)