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ideamark

Knox College axes its wrestling program

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Well, you can’t blame this one on lacrosse.

But three sorry jacka**es that don’t know how to honor a commitment.

And probably don’t know how to recruit!

Don't have any information other than what's in the article so I have no idea as to the motivation for the single season coaches to take the job in the first place nor why they left. However, commitment from big time college coaches and the institutions they serve is predicated by one thing.

 

Press conference by top ten college coach: I love where I am and the situation we've worked night and day to develope here. I have no intentions of going anywhere.

About 12:30 am the following morning same coach to moving van driver: How long will it take to get from Florida to Ohio.

 

Disclaimer: The above situation is clearly fiction and in no way is directed at any past or current coach.

Edited by Bloate

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Joe Norton, the first full-time head coach, is a kid I was fortunate enough to coach during his senior year in high school at Montini Catholic in west suburban Chicago. He's a stand-up kid, now young man, who was offered the opportunity to coach his alma mater when the position opened unexpectedly almost a year after he took the job at Knox.

 

The thing for Joe was that he wasn't hired at Knox until September of the 2013-14 season: http://news.theopenmat.com/2013/09/joe-norton-named-new-head-coach-at-division-iii-knox-college/. Coach Islas, his predecessor, didn't resign from Knox until August 2013: http://www.d3wrestle.com/?p=6096. Being hired in September makes it 100% impossible for anyone to recruit for that season at that point, since school was in session. In his one recruiting season at Knox, Joe brought in five freshmen, but then left the program at the very end of August:  http://northcentralcardinals.com/news/2014/8/26/WREST_0826141759.aspx.

 

What happened after Norton left, in terms of the dynamics of the team and who started, but didn't finish, is nothing I could even begin to surmise.

 

As to Matt Lowers, all I can go from is his resume, which seemed quite impressive: http://prairiefire.knox.edu/coaches.aspx?rc=437&path=wrestling. Again, he wasn't hired until September 22, 2014: http://prairiefire.knox.edu/news/2014/9/21/WREST_0921143037.aspx?path=general. I have no information regarding what he walked into when he took over, but it's impossible not to note that his team was anaemic come the end of this season. Why and when Lowers chose to leave is anyone's guess at this point. His twitter account didn't shine any light on the situation.

 

Personally, though incredibly difficult to defend, I think that Knox could have reasonably given it one more go at a new coach this season. While not at all ideal, there are still plenty of NJCAA guys out there with college experience trying to find a home. There are still plenty of high school kids looking for an opportunity. However, with a price tag immediately south of $50K per year with no scholarships, it was going to be slim pickings this summer.

Edited by Tofurky

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You set someone up to fail and then cut the program for its failure--great logic.  Three coaches down in three years indicates something is very wrong institutionally.  These D-III programs are a boon to profit for schools who do it right.  I coached at a small college and the school understood very quickly that we were a HUGE revenue sport.  School was roughly $20,000 a year.  We started each year with about 40-50 guys in the preseason.  You subtract my meager salary, my part-time assistant, all our travel, scholarship, and equipment budget, and we were making far more for the school than football or basketball.  There's more to this story than "lack of success" of coaches who, I am guessing, had little to no institutional support.

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Will Jason Bryant, Flowrestling and/or Scott Casber have the AD or an administrator from the school on his show to explain how and when the decision was made and what type of support the school was offering these coaches and the team?

 

It seems to me the only time that people stand up and fight for a program is when it's on the DI level. Shouldn't all programs in this tiny sport we all participate in on various levels be treated equally? As of typing this, there's no mention of the decision to cut the program at Knox on USAW's site, Flo, Intermat or The Open Mat.

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I need to take back my comment. Uncalled for. I don't know any of the gentlemen that coached or their reasons for leaving.

My apologies to each of them.

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PBS's perspective was right on in that thread. While I don't disagree that too many Illinois kids, their parents and their high school and club coaches have their heads in the clouds when it comes to wrestling in college, at the end of the day it's about how you sell your program. I can speak from personal experience and say that is one incredibly difficult task, especially when the program you come into hasn't had the reputation that is going to draw in the kids you want to be competitive.

 

One thing that played hard against Knox is the tuition. $50,859 annually, vs. barely more than $30,000 at Illinois's flagship university in Champaign, that just happens to have one of the better DI programs in the country. Southern Illinois's calculator says that a freshman entering the university will pay less than $16,000 for a freshman year. Northern Illinois, my alma mater, is $21,764, according to google. All of these are published rates that didn't take me long to find.

 

Other than U of I, SIUE and NIU aren't close to pulling the blue chip prospects that everyone wants, so guys who qualified for state once or twice, but never sniffed the stand, see those schools as opportunities to wrestle DI along with and against the best guys in the nation, depending on the schedule their coaches put together. Then you look at programs such as North Central, Norton's alma mater, Elmhurst and McKendree, which have all had quite a bit of success in recent times, and are up to $10,000 less expensive to attend in a given year, and it makes that much harder to snag the prospects you want.

 

One other thing I thought of this morning was the stark difference in where these schools are physically and the size of each one. Again, Knox is in a very tough spot being that it has less than 1,500 undergraduates and sits 50 miles from Moline (Quad Cities) and 50 miles from Peoria, in a farm town of roughly 30,000. With the exception of U of I, all of the other schools I mentioned are within an hour of major national metropolitan areas of either Chicago or St. Louis, which provide more for their student populations than what Galesburg might be able to offer young men between the ages of 18 and 23 (on the long end).

 

As I stated, knowing first hand how very difficult Joe's job as a recruiter was, he's a good guy and a smart guy, he's most likely just airing one of his biggest frustrations he had in his job for that one season.

Edited by Tofurky

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One thing that played hard against Knox is the tuition. $50,859 annually, vs. barely more than $30,000 at Illinois's flagship university in Champaign, that just happens to have one of the better DI programs in the country. Southern Illinois's calculator says that a freshman entering the university will pay less than $16,000 for a freshman year. Northern Illinois, my alma mater, is $21,764, according to google. All of these are published rates that didn't take me long to find.

Published rates are a poor indicator of costs. Colleges have dynamic pricing based on a multitude of factors so there is no one true cost for a student to attend. A good rule of thumb is that the lower the sticker price, or the more front end subsidies they receive, the less tuition discounts and financial aid they will offer to the average student.

 

Here is the most recent data on actual average cost per year by family income cohort. (Sorted by the column that encapsulates to the median Illinois household income of $56k)

 

Family Income …. 0 - $30,000 …. $30,001 - $48,000 …. $48,001 - $75,000 …. $75,001 - $110,000 …. Over $110,000

Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville …. $12,357 …. $13,801 …. $17,685 …. $20,120 …. $20,393

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign …. $7,954 …. $12,778 …. $18,603 …. $24,403 …. $26,925

Knox College …. $15,725 …. $17,488 …. $19,232 …. $22,940 …. $26,029

Illinois State University …. $11,205 …. $13,575 …. $20,142 …. $23,301 …. $24,456

Northern Illinois University …. $17,122 …. $17,367 …. $20,332 …. $22,718 …. $23,905

***Note: Data for Illinois residents.

 

Long story short, private schools survive because they are financially competitive making them accessible to many students. Unfortunately, a lot of people from families with little college experience or lower incomes often fail to do their due diligence and rule them out because of the sticker price. In doing so, they actually end up paying more than they may have to at a private school they would have wanted to attend.

Edited by Pinnum

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Using data from the National Center for Education Statistics for the 2014-2105 school year

Total cost to attend and live on campus

Illinois DIII Schools

Chicago - $67,572

Knox - $51,121

Elmhurst - $47,280

North Central - $46,854

Wheaton - $43,740

 

DIII Top 5 from 2015

Augsburg - $47,237

Wartburg - $47,440

Wabash - $49,380

UW-Whitewater - $17,344 (in state)

Delaware Valley - $48,963

 

You'll see that Knox is not an extreme outlier here, and there are a lot of schools more expensive than Knox. Pinnum's point above is right on the money. Cost is certainly an issue when considering a private college education, but that was not the primary factor in the team's roster issues.

Edited by IronChef

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Published rates are a poor indicator of costs. Colleges have dynamic pricing based on a multitude of factors so there is no one true cost for a student to attend. A good rule of thumb is that the lower the sticker price, or the more front end subsidies they receive, the less tuition discounts and financial aid they will offer to the average student.

 

Here is the most recent data on actual average cost per year by family income cohort. (Sorted by the column that encapsulates to the median Illinois household income of $56k)

 

Family Income …. 0 - $30,000 …. $30,001 - $48,000 …. $48,001 - $75,000 …. $75,001 - $110,000 …. Over $110,000

Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville …. $12,357 …. $13,801 …. $17,685 …. $20,120 …. $20,393

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign …. $7,954 …. $12,778 …. $18,603 …. $24,403 …. $26,925

Knox College …. $15,725 …. $17,488 …. $19,232 …. $22,940 …. $26,029

Illinois State University …. $11,205 …. $13,575 …. $20,142 …. $23,301 …. $24,456

Northern Illinois University …. $17,122 …. $17,367 …. $20,332 …. $22,718 …. $23,905

***Note: Data for Illinois residents.

 

Long story short, private schools survive because they are financially competitive making them accessible to many students. Unfortunately, a lot of people from families with little college experience or lower incomes often fail to do their due diligence and rule them out because of the sticker price. In doing so, they actually end up paying more than they may have to at a private school they would have wanted to attend.

 

Where did you grab your stats, Pinnum? I think it would be nice, specifically for Illinois folks in this case, to have said comparisons with all the schools which offer wrestling.

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Cost is certainly an issue when considering a private college education...

 

Using Pinnum's information, this is where a responsible coach comes in and informs all parties involved that the published rates are not necessarily what you're going to pay.

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Wow it won't be long before they Axe the school...Free education no longer exist!!!

 

P.S. The PSU "Train"!!!

 

P.P.S. We now have folks looooooosing SS becuase of college debt...I'd raise it to 200,000 a year...LOL!!!

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