Drew Black enters his 18th year at the helm of Wesleyan wrestling in 2015-16 as an associate professor of physical education. Drew also serves as head strength and conditioning coach as well as fitness center coordinator at the college. He is certified through both the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and USA Weightlifting as a Level I club coach.
The 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons proved to be two of the most memorable in Wesleyan wrestling history as the Cardinals hosted and won the 2012 New England Wrestling Association (NEWA) Championship, which was Wesleyan's second team championship with the first one attained in 1984. It was also the second time in school history that Wesleyan sent four individuals to the NCAA Championships with Jefferson Ajayi '13 coming home as an All-American, placing seventh at 184 lbs. The team won the championship with eight conference placers including five finalists and three champions. In 2012-13, the Cardinals set historic marks by placing sixth at the NCAA Division III National Duals, defeating two top-10 teams in #7 Olivet and #9 Ithaca. Wesleyan became only the second New England team in the history of the event to place at the National Duals. The national dual victories catapulted Wesleyan to a historic ranking of 10th in the nation for Division III Wrestling. The team finished 11th in the nation for the regular dual season. The team finished 15-7 for the third most wins in Wesleyan history with all seven losses coming at the hands of top-10 teams in the nation.
Drew also coached five wrestlers to 100+ win careers, three of whom graduated in 2013 -- Howard Tobochnik ‘13 149 lb.-(119-45); Jefferson Ajayi ‘13 184 lb.-(106-31); and Kyle Roosa ‘13 174 lb.- (108-38). The other two 100-win competitors came in 2010 with Dan Bloom at 111-32 and Greg Hurd at 103-29. Howard Tobochnik’13 is the winningest wrestler in Wesleyan history at 119 wins. In addition, Drew also coached Nick Scotto ’13 at 141 lbs. who led the nation with the most pins in all NCAA Divisions (I, II, and III) in 2012-13 with 21 pins. Nick had 21 pins out of his 33 wins.
During his tenure at Wesleyan, Drew received the NEWA Coach of the Year in 2012 and 2010. In addition, Drew led the team to its winningest finishes in school history with a 17-2 mark in 2001-02, the most wins in a season at the college, and a 16-3-1 record in 2010-11, the second highest number of victories ever in a season. Included in 2010-11 was a school-record 11-match win streak. No previous squad had captured more than eight in a row. The Cardinals were in the national rankings for four consecutive seasons (2009-13), finishing 11th, 29th, 29th, and 26th for the regular dual season, respectively. In addition, with the 16 dual victories in the 2010-11 season, Drew became the winningest wrestling coach in Wesleyan history and now has 172 career victories over his 17 seasons. The Cardinals finished third in the NEWA Championships with seven conference place winners in both 2010 and 2011 before vaulting to the top spot in 2012. The team has had 11 winning seasons over the past 15 years with a 162-114-3 cumulative mark over that span. Wesleyan has been represented in the NCAA Division III Tournament eight of the last 10 years, most recently sending Ryan Sblendorio '15 at 174 pounds to Nationals as he closed out the year with a 20-9 record.
Year in and year out, the Wesleyan wrestling team competes nationally for wrestling and academic recognition. The team has earned team scholar All-America status in 14 of the last 15 years (all but 2003), most recently finishing 11th in the country with a 3.44 team GPA. Wesleyan had finished fourth in the nation for three straight years (2010, 2011, 2012).
Drew is currently serving as president of the NEWA Coaches Association, a position he previous held for six years during his first 16 years at Wesleyan, and is a six-year veteran board member of the National Wrestling Coaches Association.
Before coming to Wesleyan, Drew was the head wrestling coach, fitness center coordinator and strength and conditioning coach at Phoenix College (Ariz.) from 1995-1998. There he directed his squad to a #6 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCCA) ranking and an 11-3 dual-match record in 1997-98. One of his grapplers won a national title while another finished third.
A 1992 graduate of Syracuse University who went on to earn his Master's degree at Kent St. University in 1994, Drew took over as head wrestling coach and strength and conditioning coach at Wesleyan in 1998-99. A four-year varsity wrestler for the Orangemen and a team co-captain as a senior, Drew was a two-time runner-up at the N.Y. state collegiate wrestling championships, seventh-place finisher at the 1991 Midlands Tournament and a fifth-place finisher in the E.I.W.A. Tournament in 1992.
Prior to enrolling at Syracuse, Drew was a 1987 state champion at 108 pounds while a senior at Mahwah (N.J.) High School. He also placed third in the state his junior year.
Drew is looking to have a nationally recognized, consistently winning program by attracting quality student-athletes from around the country who have a solid commitment to both academics and wrestling.
Drew and his wife, Jennifer, reside in Cheshire with their two children, son Sean (16), and daughter Leah (11).