Life announces Laden as new associate head coach

MARIETTA, Ga. -- Life University is thrilled to announce the appointment of Jake Laden as the new Associate Head Coach for the Men's Wrestling program. Coach Laden brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record of success to the Running Eagles, marking an exciting new chapter for the team.

Laden joins Life University after 4 seasons as the Associate Head Coach with the University of Ottawa men's wrestling program. His tenure at OU was marked by his dedication to athlete development and his strategic acumen, helping to elevate the program to new heights.

Prior to his time at OU, Laden made significant contributions to Grand View University (GVU), an NAIA wrestling powerhouse. From 2017 to 2020, he served as an assistant coach and graduate assistant coach for the Vikings. At GVU, Laden's responsibilities were comprehensive, encompassing strength and conditioning, practice management, recruiting, and scheduling. He also played a crucial role in organizing and supervising wrestling tournaments and fundraisers, thereby supporting the program's financial health.

Laden's impact at GVU was profound, working directly with athletes on academic retention, skill development, wrestling techniques, and goal achievement. His efforts were instrumental in producing 33 NAIA All-Americans, seven NAIA National Champions, and three NAIA National Championship Teams. Additionally, he served as the Freestyle/Greco senior club coach, training athletes across various wrestling styles and leading them in prestigious tournaments such as the U.S. Open and the UWW Junior Freestyle World Team Trials.

Laden's coaching journey began with the Viking Wrestling Club, where he coached from 2015 to 2017. He was pivotal in marketing and promoting the club and the wrestling program, while also mentoring young athletes and high school wrestlers in the community.

As a competitor, Laden boasts an impressive wrestling pedigree. He was a Greco All-American, placing fourth at the University Nationals in 2016, and a 2017 NAIA All-American, earning third place. His collegiate wrestling career began with a fourth-place finish as an NJCAA All-American in 2012. Laden's success extends back to high school, where he was an All-American and state champion.

Academically, Laden is well-prepared for his new role, holding a bachelor's degree in human services (2017) and a master's degree in organizational leadership (2019) from GVU. His commitment to leadership and excellence was further demonstrated by his graduation from the FCA Academy in Edwardsville, Illinois, in 2019. In recognition of his contributions to the sport, Laden was inducted into the Iowa National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum in 2022.

Life University is confident that Coach Laden's extensive experience and passion for wrestling will significantly contribute to the ongoing success and development of the Men's Wrestling program. Please join us in welcoming Jake Laden to the Life University family.