W&L Tabs Nathan Shearer as Head Wrestling Coach

LEXINGTON, Va. -- Washington and Lee Director of Athletics Jan Hathorn has announced the appointment of Nathan Shearer as head wrestling coach and assistant professor of physical education effective July 1.  Shearer will take over for Gary Franke, who stepped down after 38 seasons as the Generals' head coach.

"I'm pleased to welcome Nathan and his family to Washington and Lee," said Hathorn.  "This is an exciting time for our wrestling team, and I look forward to working beside Nathan as we begin a new chapter in the storied history of our wrestling program."

Shearer comes to Washington and Lee from Heidelberg University, where he served as the head coach during the 2010-11 season.  Shearer earned the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) Rookie Coach of the Year Award after leading Heidelberg to a second-place finish in the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) Championship.  Three of his wrestlers qualified for the NCAA Division III Championship, while four of his athletes received Scholar All-America honors from the NWCA.  As a team, Heidelberg received the team Scholar Award from the NWCA after ranking 15th in Division III in Team GPA.

"My family is excited about the opportunity to be a part of the Washington and Lee community," said Shearer.  "I believe that W&L's commitment to academic and athletic excellence align with my core values and I'm elated to work with the wrestling program.  I appreciate the opportunity and I look forward to getting started."

The recipient of a scholarship to attend the NWCA Leadership Academy last August, Shearer took over as the head coach at Heidelberg after holding an assistant post with 'Berg during the 2009-10 school year.  During that time, he was the team's recruiting coordinator and he helped coach six Scholar All-Americans and four NCAA Championship qualifiers, including one All-American.

A 2005 graduate of Ohio Northern with a bachelor of arts in social studies, Shearer served as an assistant coach at his alma mater from 2005-08, coordinating the staff's recruiting efforts and helping mentor six Scholar All-Americans and 14 NCAA qualifiers.  His experiences also included a stint as the coach of the Ada, Ohio youth wrestling program (2005-06) and assisting with numerous youth wrestling camps and clinics.

As an undergraduate, Shearer was a four-year letterwinner for the wrestling team, helping the Polar Bears to the 2002 OAC Regular Season Championship and an appearance in the NCAA Division III Championship.  He finished his career ranked 11th all-time at ONU with an 89-44 overall record.

Shearer also holds as master of education in mild/moderate intervention services from Bowling Green State University (2008).

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