Lindenwood University Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Brad Wachler announced on Friday thatJimmy Rollins has been named the new head coach of the Lions wrestling program. Rollins has been an assistant coach for the Lions for the last five seasons.
“I am very honored to be given the opportunity to lead this program,” said Rollins. “I am grateful to (former head coach) Chad Smith for bringing me to Lindenwood, and I thank President Shonrock and Brad Wachler for the chance to be the next head coach. I am also thankful for all of the Lindenwood wrestlers for their support throughout this transition. I can’t wait for the season so we can continue to build upon the positive momentum of the Lions wrestling program.”
“The Lindenwood wrestling program has a rich history of success, and Jimmy Rollins is the perfect fit to continue that tradition,” said Wachler. “Over the past five years as an assistant coach, Jimmy has demonstrated great technical knowledge of the sport of wrestling, and I am confident that he is now ready to lead this program as its head coach. He is also a great ambassador for Lindenwood University and its Athletic Department as we continue to connect with the strong wrestling community in the St. Charles area. I am looking forward to many more years of success for the Lions wrestling program.”
For the last five years, Rollins has been the top assistant for the nationally-ranked Lindenwood University wrestling program. He was integral in recruiting four classes that were ranked nationally in the top-15. Rollins also played a big role in the team’s transition from NAIA to the NCAA Division II level as the team quickly realized great success on a national stage.
Over the last three years, Lindenwood has qualified 15 wrestlers for the NCAA National Championships, and nine have won All-American honors. Last year, Terrell Wilbourn captured the program’s first NCAA Individual National Championship. The team has finished in the top-20 in the nation all three years it has been eligible for the NCAA national event, including a seventh-place finish in 2013-14.
During Rollins tenure, the Lions finished the conference season third or better in the regular season standings for each of the last three years, including winning its first MIAA Championship in 2014-15. The Lions have been conference tournament runner-ups twice in the four years in the league.
Rollins has also helped the team have success in the classroom. Last year, Lindenwood ranked fourth in NCAA Division II in the D2WCA All-Academic wrestling team rankings.
Prior to coming to Lindenwood, Rollins was an assistant coach at Midland University, Iowa Lakes Community College, and Dana College. Over his 10 years of coaching, he has worked with 52 All-Americans, 17 national finalist, four national champions, and two Junior Greco Roman All-Americans.
Prior to coaching, Rollins was a wrestler at Gloucester County College and Dana. He was a four-time All-American and two-time national champion. He was a member of two team national championships during his playing career, capturing one at Gloucester in 2002 and one at Dana in 2006.
Rollins graduated from Dana College in 2008 with a bachelor’s of arts in physical education, and earned his masters of education from Lindenwood University in 2013.
Rollins’ first official competition as the head coach of the Lions will be on Nov. 12 when Lindenwood competes in the Maryville Kaufman-Brand Open in St. Louis.