2014-15 Coaching Staff
Drew Black - Head Wrestling Coach
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Drew Black enters his 17th year at the helm of Wesleyan wrestling in 2014-15 as an associate professor of physical education. Drew also serves as 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 164 career victories over his 16 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 14 years with a 154-103-3 cumulative mark over that span. Wesleyan has been represented in the NCAA Division III Tournament seven of the last nine years, most recently sending Tobochnik (149), Ajayi (184), and Josh Roometua '16 (197) to Nationals. Roometua was only the third freshman in Wesleyan history to compete at the NCAAs (Robert Ginsberg in 1982 and Mike Whalen in 1980 are the other two competitors).
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 13 of the last 14 years (all but 2003), most recently finishing 11h in the country with a 3.447 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 (15), and daughter Leah (10).
Blair Tugman - Assistant Coach
Blair Tugman joined the Cardinal wrestling staff for the first time in 2012-13 with a very impressive coaching and athletic resume, and returns for a third year during the 2014-15 campaign. Before Wesleyan, Blair was the head wrestling coach at Daniel Hand High School in Madison, Conn. having directed the program for two years after assisting for two years. In his two seasons as head coach, Blair led his troops to historical landmarks with a 47-2 dual-season record, a 2012 Class L Title and a second-place finish at the 2012 New England Championships. In 2011, Hand was the Class L runner up and third-place finisher in New England. Blair was recognized by the New Haven Register as the “All-Area Coach of the Year” in 2012 for his achievements.
Blair also is the founder, owner, and head coach of the Team Tugman Wrestling Club, now located in Milford, Conn. Blair has been instrumental in the development and enhancement of many Connecticut wrestlers in the five years since starting the club and his club also played an integral training role in the Old Saybrook/Westbrook wrestling team pinning down a Class S State Title in only its fourth year of existence.
Blair attended Lock Haven University where he competed as a Division I athlete and attained a BS degree in sports administration with a minor in coaching in 2004. Highlights for Blair during his collegiate career was becoming an AAU Freestyle Grand National Champion in 2001 along with place finishes at the Penn State Open and East Strousburg Open.
Blair hails from New Jersey where he graduated from Middletown High School South. He was a three time N.J. State Place Finisher (fifth, third and fourth), a four-time district champion, four-time region place finisher, and a four-time N.J. Freestyle High School State Champion.
Blair’s tremendous experience as an athlete and coach will help Wesleyan continue to develop and foster more champions in the future.
John Biddiscombe - Assistant Coach
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Serving as Wesleyan's Director of Athletics from 1988 to 2012 before announcing his retirement effective July 1, 2012, John Biddiscombe returned to the mats during the 2011-12 season as an assistant after stepping down as head wrestling coach following the 1988-89 season at Wesleyan. He is now in his fourth year as an assistant. Over his 15 years at the helm, John compiled a solid 127-80-3 mark and won a New England College Conference Wrestling Assoociation title in 1983-84. He was inducted into the New England Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2004 and was named the New England Wrestling Association Man of the Year in 2012, the same year he was inducted in the Middletown Sports Hall of Fame.
Joining the Wesleyan staff in 1974 as head wrestling and assistant football and track coach, John assumed his current post as AD in time to oversee the development and construction of Wesleyan's Freeman Athletic Center, completed in March, 1990, as well as the addition of the Silloway Gymnasium, Rosenbaum Squash Center and Andersen Fitness Center in 2005. He also engineered the establishment of Wesleyan's Athletics Hall of Fame, officially begun in May, 2008; the Alumni Athletic Council (AAC) ; and the Athletics Advantage Program (A-Plus) amog his many accomplishments.
Consistently active at the national level on NCAA committees, John was chair of the NCAA Management Council and served on the NCAA Executive Committee. In 1999-00, John was honored by the National Association of Collegiate Athletic Directors as its Northeast Region Division III AD of the Year.
A 1967 graduate of Springfield College before earning his M.S. at Slippery Rock, John was head wrestling and assistant football coach at Muhlenberg College for three years before coming to Wesleyan.
Matt Moran - Assistant Coach
Graduating from Wesleyan in 2004 after wrestling at the upper-level weights during his four-year career, Matt Moran will be assisting Drew Black for a fifth season as he was on board the coaching staff the year after his graduaton in 2004-05, and rejoined the ranks in 2011-12. Matt compiled a solid 34-28 dual-match record as a four-year starter, beginning his career at 197 pounds and finishing as a heavyweight his last two seasons. He was ranked third in the NECCWA as a senior. Residing in Bloomfield, Conn. with his wife, Rebecca, Matt is employed full-time as vice-president of operations for TicketNetwork in South Windsor.
Dan DiCenzo - Director of Wrestling Operations
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Dan DiCenzo, formerly the head wrestling coach and assistant football coach at Williams College, joined the Wesleyan University coaching staff as associate head football coach and defensive coordinator during the 2010 season and is now in his fifth year as a Cardinal mentor.
Dan, a 2001 graduate of Williams College where he excelled in football and wrestling, coached at Williams for six seasons including three as head wrestling coach. Earning all-NESCAC football honors as well as all-New England honors on the mats as an undergraduate, Dan served as a team captain of both sports and received the Purple Key Award for 2000-01 as the top male athlete at the college. Before returning to Williams for the 2004 football campaign, Dan had coaching stints at both Trinity College, where he is working on his Master's degree, and Brown University.
As head wrestling coach at Williams, Dan led the Ephs to national prominence, culminating in both the New England Wrestling Association (NEWA) Duals team championship and a NEWA tournament title in 2009-10. The NEWA tournament title was his second in a row. His team was ranked 15th nationally heading into the NCAA Division III Championships in 2010 at which his squad finished in a tie for 23rd nationally. Over his three seasons in charge of the Eph matmen, Dan amassed a cumulative dual-match record of 50-16-1.
A part of the Williams football staff throughout the head coaching career of Mike Whalen, Dan was on the defensive side of the ball, handling defensive backs. Nine of the players under his tutelage earned all-NESCAC recognition.
In addition to his football coaching assignment, Dan assists Wesleyan head wrestling coach Drew Black in his duties as the athletic department's strength and conditioning coach and in the overall operation of the wrestling program. Dan was the meet director for the 2011 NEWA Championships hosted by Trinity, the 2012 NEWA Championships hosted by Wesleyan and the 2014 Northeast Regional Championships, also hosted by Wesleyan.
Allan Berlind - Faculty Mentor
A professor in the biology department at Wesleyan for 33 years (1971-2004), Allan Berlind serves as faculty mentor to Wesleyan's wrestling program. A graduate of Swarthmore College with both a Master's and Ph.D. from Harvard University, Allan became interested in wrestling when his son, Andy, picked up the sport as a freshman at Middletown High School. Andy went on to complete for Williams College from 1992-96. Allan remains a professor emeritus at Wesleyan following his retirement in 2004. During his active tenure at Wesleyan, Allan had two stints as chairman of the biology department (1984-86 and 1993-94). He has been the mentor to the wrestling team since 2001.