A Page -- July 21, 2011

Baldwin-Wallace College Hires Jamie Gibbs as its First Full-Time Head Wrestling Coach

By Jeff Miller

BEREA -- Baldwin-Wallace College has named Jamie Gibbs as its first full-time Head Wrestling Coach.  He replaces Rich Fleming, who served the College with distinction the past 24 seasons as its part time head coach.

Gibbs comes to the College after serving as the head wrestling coach at NCAA Division II theUniversity of North Carolina at Pembroke for the past five seasons.

“We are excited that the College has made the commitment to hire its first-ever full-time head wrestling coach,” said Director of Athletics Kris A. Diaz. “We feel that the addition of Coach Gibbs and our excellent location in the “hot bed” of high school wrestling will allow us to build upon the successful tradition established by legendary coaches John Summa and Rich Fleming and take the program to the next level.  We feel that once Coach Gibbs establishes his program that we will expect to challenge for the Ohio Athletic Conference title each season and have additional opportunities for national recognition.

“Coach Gibbs has led programs that have been recognized academically and have built individual and team success, and that is what we expect from all of our programs at B-W and that is what Division III athletics is all about,” continued Diaz.   “We welcome Jamie and his family to Baldwin-Wallace and our athletics family.”

While at UNC-Pembrooke, Gibbs mentored seven NCAA Division III All-Americans and eight student-athletes to NWCA (National Wrestling Coaches Association) Division II All-Academic team. Overall, 16 of his student-athletes made appearances at the NCAA Division II National Championship Tournament.  Individually, Gibbs’ teams compiled a 51-40 dual meet record in five seasons and posted its best finish by being ranked 11th during the regular season and tied for 17th at the 2011 NCAA Division II National Championship tourney.

Prior to UNC-Pembrooke, Gibbs served as an assistant coach at Coe College in Iowa for four years and as a graduate assistant coach at the University of Wisconsin at Lacrosse.  Both of the teams are traditional powerhouses in NCAA Division III.

“I am honored to be the first full-time wrestling coach at Baldwin-Wallace College and am excited for the opportunity to continue the tradition and success that was established by coaches Summa and Fleming,” said Gibbs, who officially begins his duties on August 1.   “I am looking forward to building an OAC champion and national power in Berea.

“I had a desire to return to the NCAA Division III level as well as the Midwest,” said Gibbs. “Coaching at B-W not only fulfills that wish, it also allows me to coach in a strong wrestling conference and in an area where there is an abundance of talented student-athletes who love the sport of wrestling.” added Gibbs.  “My family and I are excited to join the Yellow Jacket family and are looking forward to many years of success and happiness.”

In two seasons as a collegiate competitor at Coe, Gibbs was an All-Iowa Conference wrestler and a two-year starter and captain.  Prior to Coe, he attended Iowa Central Community College and was a national qualifier.  Gibbs received an associate degree from Iowa Central C.C., a Bachelor of Arts degree from Coe and a Master of Science degree in exercise sports science from the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse.

Jamie and his wife, Jana, have a son, Bodey.  They are currently in the process of relocating to the Cleveland area.

Former Mount Union and Cleveland Gladiators QB Kurt Rocco Named AFL Offensive Player of the Week

TULSA, Okla. -- Former Mount Union and current Cleveland Gladiators quarterback Kurt Rocco (Cincinnati/Roger Bacon) was named Arena Football League Offensive Player of the Week.

Rocco finished 25-of-35 for 297-yards and matched a career-high with eight touchdowns in Cleveland's 67-55 win over the Pittsburgh Power this past Friday.  The win clinched the AFL East Division title and a home playoff game for Cleveland

In his rookie season, Rocco ranks 10th in the AFL in pass efficiency (111.3 rating) and has 68 passing touchdowns this season.

"Kurt has really been working hard to improve his game each and every week," Gladiators head coach Steve Thonn said. "We have seen him make tremendous strides all season long and it's great that others are recognizing it too."

At Mount Union, Rocco led the Raiders to an Ohio Athletic Conference title and Stagg Bowl (National Championship game) appearance in 2009 on his way to All-American honors.

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Baldwin-Wallace College Hires Olmsted Falls native 

Chad Ritchie as its Director of Athletic Facilities and 


BEREA -- The Baldwin-Wallace College athletic department announces the hiring of Chad Ritchie as its Director of Athletic Facilities and Equipment. Ritchie, who began his duties on July 1, replaced longtime Yellow Jacket equipment and transportation manager Jerry Zemelka, who retired after 17 years of service to the College.

Ritchie, a native of Olmsted Falls, Ohio and a 2002 B-W graduate, returns to his alma mater after working in the athletic equipment, apparel and athlete-to-athlete business and sales industry (2008-11). He most recently worked for Adler Team Sports (2009-2011) and at the web sitewww.ProPlayerConnect.com (2008-2009).

Ritchie’s experience in equipment management and transportation is exceptional, including stints with the National Football League’s Cleveland Browns (2003-2008) and the Frankfurt Galaxy of the NFL of Europe (2003). A sport management major at the College, Ritchie also served as an intern with both the Browns (1999-2001) and Jacksonville Jaguars (2002-2003).

“We welcome Chad to the B-W community and our athletics family,” said Director of Athletics Kris A. Diaz. “Chad brings a wealth of experience and expertise to our areas of equipment and transportation. He also is versed on both sides of the industry (sales and implementation).  We feel he will do an excellent job working with our student-athletes, coaches, athletic department and outside constituents.”

Ritchie and his wife, Jill, who also is a B-W graduate, reside in Olmsted Falls and have a daughter.