Photo: Grand View Athletics

Mitchell repeats as The Open Mat's NAIA Men's Wrestling Coach of the Year

The Open Mat presents awards annually in three categories for each division of college wrestling at the conclusion of the season. Awards are presented for Freshman of the Year, Coach of the Year and Wrestler of the Year.

Nick Mitchell is no stranger to making history.

The Grand View head wrestling coach has set numerous NAIA men's wrestling records.

On Thursday, Mitchell became the first back-to-back winner of The Open Mat's NAIA Men's Coach of the Year.

This season Mitchell led the Grand View Vikings to their third national title in a row by scoring 209.5 pounds, finishing 55.5 points ahead of runner-up Life University.

Grand View concluded the 2024 NAIA Men's Wrestling Championship with 12 All-Americans, which had only happened two other times in NAIA men's wrestling history. In addition, three Grand View wrestlers won national titles: Alex Reynolds (174), Isaiah Luellen (184) and Garavous Kouekabakilaho (197). Over half the team placed in the top three at the national tournament and posted a 58-16 record.

But this award is not based solely on results and accomplishments. Other factors like exceeding expectations, improvement and overcoming adversity play into the selection. Grand View was not considered the runaway favorite this season. The Vikings lost six (half) of their starters after winning the national title last season.

In January, Grand View lost to Life at the NWCA National Duals. But Mitchell and company managed to get six athletes their first NAIA All-America honors and run away with the national title. For Grand View's marked improvements and overall dominance, Nick Mitchell is The Open Mat's 2024 NAIA Men's Coach of the Year.