photo courtesy of Western Colorado athletics
Head Coach Charlie Pipher was a three-time All-American and National Finalist for the Western State Mountaineers, a program that currently has three of its former All-Americans leading NCAA Division II programs, with RC LaHaye of Lander and Chris Frieje of Fairmont State also reaching the podium during their collegiate years at Western Colorado. A total of 142 Mountaineers have qualified for the NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships in 27 years, with 70 of those reaching All-American status and six winning National Championships. Donovan McMahill, who accounts for two of those National titles in his time as a Mountaineer, is currently an assistant for Western Colorado.
The Mountaineers sent two to the 2020 NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships, with true freshman Patrick Allis coming away as an NWCA All-American as the fifth seed at 125. Allis returns to the lineup for Western Colorado, along with 2019 National Qualifier Jason Hanenberg at 141 and 2020 National Qualifier Hunter Mullin at 165. In all, a full 10-man lineup with varsity experience will return for Pipher in 2020-21.
“We gained a ton of experience during the 2019-2020 season,” Pipher said of his squad. “After wrestling many of the top teams in DII we expect to be a much more seasoned team in 2020-2021. We will be leaning on the leadership of our returning qualifiers and guys who have been in the lineup. As a coaching staff we believe this is our year to make some noise at the national tournament.”
Pipher will gain a handful more guys coming off of redshirt, and will add a talented recruiting class from Colorado, Arizona, and California. The incoming class of Mountaineers is headlined by three-time California state placer Justin Mouritson, and will bolster the Westernc Colorado roster to 45 for next season.