Henderson takes over Defiance College wrestling program

DEFIANCE, Ohio -- Defiance College has announced Jake Henderson as the next head coach of the Yellow Jackets' wrestling program, the athletic department announced on Wednesday.

Henderson joins DC's staff from the University of Rio Grande where he was a graduate assistant coach for the last two seasons. During his time with the Red Storm, four Rio Grande grapplers qualified for the NAIA national championships and were the first wrestlers in the history of the program to compete on the national stage.

"I'm happy to be a part of Yellow Jacket wrestling here at Defiance College," says Henderson. "I'm looking forward to helping build a program that is rooted in the community and gives athletes in one of the best states in the country an opportunity to succeed at the collegiate level. As we move to NAIA, I believe the potential for the program only grows as we can now offer athletic scholarships as a new chapter of Defiance College wrestling begins."

Before coaching at the college level, Henderson was an assistant coach at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School in the Cleveland area. He aided the program for just over three years and had 23 athletes place at the Ohio state championships, including one state champion. The Bees also had two state duals appearances and finished runner-up once.

As an athlete, Henderson was a four-time conference champion and placed at the Ohio state championships twice. He also earned 157 career wins at Western Brown High School in Mt. Orab, Ohio before going on to compete as a scholarship athlete at Division I Cleveland State.

"Now is the time for the Defiance College wrestling program," says Athletic Director Tiffani Selhorst. "It has become one of our highest priorities to recruit and stabilize the program. Jake's enthusiasm and understanding of where we are as a program is why I am impressed with him as our next coach. He knows what needs to be done and is committed to building a strong program with strong roots."

Defiance College wrestling has completed five seasons since returning to the mats in 2018. The transition to the NAIA and WHAC offers the program the opportunity to compete for its first conference championship since 1986.