INDIANOLA, Iowa – Former NCAA Division III national champion and Division I assistant Nate Hansen has been named the head wrestling coach at Simpson College, director of athletics John Sirianni announced Tuesday.
Hansen comes to Simpson from South Dakota State University, where he spent five seasons as an assistant coach for the Jackrabbits.
"This is really a dream job for me," said Hansen, who wrestled collegiately at Luther College. "Getting back to the Iowa Conference is a great opportunity for me. It's a special conference and I want to give the same type of experience I had as a student-athlete to the students at Simpson."
A native of Gregory, South Dakota, Hansen was a two-time NCAA Division III All-American and the 2007 national champion at 125 pounds for the Norse. He also won the Iowa Conference Championship at 125 in 2007 and was a two-time National Wrestling Coaches Association Scholar All-American. In high school, Hansen was a three-time state champion.
"We are very excited to have Nate leading our wrestling program," Sirianni said. "After a fantastic career competing in the Iowa Conference, Nate was able to grow as a coach at South Dakota State. We believe he has the tools to continue to grow our program and reach the ultimate goal of competing for championships in the nation's toughest wrestling conference."
Hansen expects his team to put in the time and effort necessary to compete at the highest level while enjoying themselves at the same time.
"We're going to work hard and have fun," he said. "That's the atmosphere I want to create - a family environment where guys are working together to achieve high goals."
Hansen graduated from Luther in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in Health and Physical Education before earning a master's in Health, Physical Education and Recreation from South Dakota State in 2009.
Hansen takes over for Clint Manny, who resigned in the offseason after going 12-53 in four seasons.
A young team consisting of 15 freshmen and sophomores, the Storm – who graduated only one senior last season – went 6-14 in 2011-12, the program's best record since 2006.
"I have already begun the process of contacting everyone on the current roster as well as the recruits," Hansen said. "Everyone I've talked to is on board, which is really exciting. I know coach Manny put in a lot of work on recruiting, which is a great situation for me. It's looking good and looking like it will work out for everyone."
Hansen becomes the 17th head coach in program history.