OWENSBORO, KY. -- (WFIE) - Rob McCabe has been elevated to Head Wrestling Coach at Kentucky Wesleyan College, as announced by Director of Athletics Rob Mallory on Thursday morning. McCabe spent the 2018-19 season as the Panthers’ top assistant.
McCabe will be the second head coach in program history. He replaces the outgoing Chris Freije, who made a lateral move to Fairmont State University.
“I am excited to introduce Rob McCabe as the next head coach of the Panther wrestling program,” commented Director of Athletics Mallory. “Rob was instrumental in helping to start our program and laying the foundation for our future success. His attitude, work ethic, and coaching acumen have been impressive since the day he stepped foot on campus, and no one is more deserving of this opportunity.”
The Nucla, Colorado native wrestled at Division II powerhouse Adams State of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. In 2005, McCabe earned All-American honors after finishing fourth at 125 pounds. He accomplished the same feat in 2006, again at 125 pounds.
“I take the head coaching role at Kentucky Wesleyan College with great enthusiasm and look to continue building the program in the manner that is fitting for the institution and The Wesleyan Way,” said Coach McCabe. "We are set in a unique location on an excellent academic campus that provides the opportunity for student-athletes to gain a degree from an esteemed institution while pursuing their athletic dreams on the mat.
After college McCabe became an assistant coach at his alma mater before moving into the high school ranks. While with the Grizzlies he helped seven wrestlers reach the National Tournament, including five All-Americans and one National Champion.
The Wesleyan wrestling program was established in December of 2017 with the 2018-19 season being its first competitive season. In his first season, McCabe assisted in the development of the entire wrestling program including nutrition, conditioning, recruitment, and training.
“I want to thank Rob Mallory and President Bart Darrell with the opportunity to lead the wrestling team to new heights,” continued Coach McCabe. “I also want to thank my family, wife Brandie and my children Rylie, Jackson, Kynnlie and Branson for staying by my side through-out my coaching career and supporting this move. This was a family decision that we prayed over. We have become part of the community which has made Owensboro our home.”
McCabe previously served at Imagine High School in Florida and Pagosa Springs High School in Colorado. Under McCabe’s direction, three wrestlers won State Titles along with 11 more placing at in their respective State Tournaments.