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Bauer one successful coach
Craig Hall
Antelope Staff
Photo by Garrett Ritonya
Bauer coached UNK's first Division II National Championship team in any sport.

UNK head wrestling coach, Marc Bauer, to say the least, has had a pretty decent career in the world of wrestling, from his own high school career through his college coaching career.  

Bauer graduated from Kearney High School where he was a four-time state qualifier and compiled a record of 107-34-2. He went on to participate in collegiate wrestling at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.  While at Omaha, Bauer was a three-time All-American and was a member of UNO’s 1991 Division II Championship team.

Bauer’s greatest accomplishments however, may have come from his 10 years as the head coach at UNK.  Bauer has taken UNK to one NCAA Division II National Championship, eight RMAC/West Region titles, coached 52 All-Americans, 83 Academic All-Americans and been named the NCAA Division II Coach of the Year twice.  This much success has come to someone that did not see himself in the wrestling world after college.

“I was really focused on my family and getting my career going in teaching, so this was really never a goal of mine,” Bauer said.  None the less, in 1996 Bauer was asked to help out with lighter weight wrestlers under then UNK wrestling head coach Jeff Cardwell.  That’s when Bauer, being introduced back into the world of wrestling, knew he couldn’t leave.

“I came in early December in 1996 and I just kind of fell in love with it all again. I had a couple kids I was specifically working with, and that made it fun for me,” Bauer said.  He then went back to school to work on getting his masters, so he could focus on becoming an even bigger part of UNK wrestling.  After Bauer completed his schooling and worked as an assistant coach for four years, Cardwell resigned, opening the door for Bauer.

Since accepting the head coach job in 1999-2000, Bauer has one of the most impressive resumes among collegiate coaches at any level.  Along with all his postseason success, his Lopers have performed well in the regular season, posting a 121-54 win loss record in duals.  That success also led Bauer and his 2008-09, team to set the school record with 18 wins that season.

Bauer doesn’t take all the credit though. “For our guys to believe that it takes a group of guys to do this together— that is more important than anything that can be said about a program,” Bauer said.  “The student athletes are the ones that lead this program…and our coaching staff has been a key part.”  Bauer doesn’t just coach All-Americans on the mat; he also has an impact on them outside of the gym.

“As a student of coach Bauer, not only have I learned how to be a better wrestler, I have also learned how to be a better man by being closer to my family, loved ones and also my faith,” said Kamarudeen (Marty) Usman, the 2008-09 national runner-up wrestler at 174 lbs.  

Bauer was noted for his success in 1997 when he was inducted into the Nebraska Scholastic Coaches Hall of Fame.

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