Former Buena Vista University Wrestling Coach Mark Schwaab has had a change of plans.
Schwaab announced his resignation at BVU in January, after being the Iowa Conference Coach of the Year in 2007, Scwaab had reportedly planned to take a job as an assistant in the wrestling program at Cornell University in New York.
But things have changed. When a job opened as head coach at NIACC in Mason City, the four-year Beavers coach grabbed it. It is in a sense a homecoming - Schwaab was a legendary high school wrestler at nearby Osage, going 106-1 with four state titles before going on to wrestle at UNI, where he placed sixth in Nationals in 1990. His brother Doug is an assistant coach at Iowa.
NIACC dropped wrestling in the 1970s, and only reinstated it last season, finishing fourth at the national tournament for community colleges.
"There were sure a lot of good memories here," Schwaab said of leaving BVU. "What I consider best moments are small things overall - like guys breaking through, winning hard fought matches. I loved it when we could celebrate as a team."
BVU's seventh-place team finish at the 2007 National Tournament was the program's highest since placing fifth back in 2002. To this point, Schwab has coached one individual conference champion and five All-Americans during his tenure, while also having a pair of wrestlers earn Scholar All-American accolades and one earn Academic All-Conference honors.
"It was a very challenging experience, and there is an awful lot to being a head coach in any sport; much more than most would think," Schwab added. "This experience was a hands-on dealing with people in all their stages of highs and lows. It's personal education for future endeavors."
At NIACC, Schwaab plans to coach, teach and pursue additional formal education himself. "It's never over when you are in the pursuit of excellence," he told the Mason City Globe Gazette.