Science teacher named wrestling program head


Chattanooga Times Free Press

Nelson coached wrestling at Bradley Central High School in Cleveland, TN.

Josh Sweetland, Staff Writer

Coach Ben Nelson was named the new wrestling program head on March 6. 

Coach Nelson has an extensive wrestling background and will bring his knowledge and experience to the wrestling mat next season. 

Coach Nelson looks forward to returning to the wrestling mat next season. “After working with them for part of this last season, I know we have good athletes with good attitudes. A wonderful combination for being successful,” said Nelson.

He was a runner-up for the Minnesota State Wrestler of the Year and wrestled at the Division 1 level at Indiana University. Coach Nelson was a three-year letter winner and a three-time All-Academic Big 10 selection.

After his wrestling career, he embarked on his coaching career at his high school alma mater. Prior to his arrival at Kinkaid in 2020, he was the head of the wrestling program at the Baylor School in Chattanooga, Tennessee. From 2011 to 2020, he coached his teams to eight state championships, producing 43 state champions, 18 All-Americans, a national champion, and three national runner-ups. With a dual meet record of 190-35, Baylor became a wrestling powerhouse in 2015 under his leadership and competed at National Preps. 

Wrestlers expressed excitement to have Coach Nelson as their head coach.

“We are really excited to have someone as knowledgeable as Coach Nelson in the wrestling room to lead the program,” team captain and junior Will McMackin said. “He is an amazing coach who knows what it takes to win.”

Kinkaid wrestlers look forward to learning from Coach Nelson’s experience in wrestling and know that they will only improve next year.

 I really think that Kinkaid wrestling is on the come-up, and I am confident that Coach Nelson is going to help take us to the top,” McMackin said.

Coach Nelson, who earned a doctorate in biochemistry at Northern Illinois University, will continue to teach biology and neuroscience in the science department in addition to his new role as wrestling program head.