CONCORDIA, Kansas — As the Cloud County Community College wrestling program prepares for its second season, the T-Birds welcomed in the newest member to their young program with the hiring of Derek Koehn as Assistant Coach.
Koehn, 29, whose hiring was approved by the Board of Trustees on June 18, replaces Andy Jay alongside the Cloud County bench.
The Pittsburgh, Kansas native was a former standout at Fort Hays State University, compiling a career record of 75-44 from 2009-2013. Koehn was a NCAA Division II National Qualifier in 2012 at 157 pounds, and a two-time champion in the Baker Open and Kansas Cup.
In high school, Koehn was a two-time state place winner and a Fargo All-American in 2005 and 2006.
"Some of the major things that stood out about Derek included his successful collegiate wrestling career at Fort Hays State, which is great for us since it was at a Kansas institution," said Cloud County head coach, Cody Cole. "He's also from Pittsburgh, Kansas so him being a local guy with local success were two things we thought would help out with what we're trying to accomplish here at Cloud County and growing our sport in Kansas."
Koehn graduated from FHSU in 2013 with a Bachelor's degree in Sports and Exercise Therapy and spent two years as an assistant coach, one year as an intern and the other as a full-time assistant.
He continued to serve as a volunteer assistant in his spare time while working as the Outreach Director for First Care Clinic.
The chance to devote all his time to wrestling as a coach was an opportunity Koehn said he couldn't pass up.
"Wrestling has always been a passion of mine, even during the years where I wasn't able to be around it as much as I would have liked," Koehn said. "I've still always been invested and helping out with as many organizations as I could. When I saw the opportunity to try and make a career out of wrestling, I jumped at it and took the chance."
Koehn added that he and Cole share the same mentality when it comes to the sport and that he's excited to help mold a T-Birds' program still in its infancy.
With a deep connection to Kansas, and experience in health and exercise science, Cole said he believes Koehn will be an asset to Cloud County in multiple facets.
"He (Koehn) is a jack of all traits. But I think he'll really help us in the weight room. He was a Sports and Exercise Therapy major, so we're hoping to use his knowledge to help our guys gets stronger and faster," Cole said. "He can also still compete and get on the mat a little bit with our guys in practice. I think he's going to be a good fit here. We meshed well in the interview process. I think our heads are in the same place and we want to see Cloud County be successful in wrestling."