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Otterbein Wrestling Coach Announced

October 06, 2015
Otterbein University

Otterbein University has hired Brent Rastetter as its new head coach for wrestling, announced Tuesday morning by Dawn Stewart, director of athletics.

Rastetter, 43, was chosen after the search committee narrowed down the pool of initial applicants to five finalists. He comes to Otterbein from Lexington High School in Lexington, Ohio, where he spent the past 12 years as the varsity wrestling coach and the past five as Dean of Students/Athletic Director for Lexington Junior High.

Brent Rastetter"Otterbein's decision to add varsity wrestling has been met with an overwhelmingly positive response," Stewart said. "I am proud of this addition and now, more importantly, to hire Brent as the coach. He is a competitor who has put Lexington on the map. I'm excited for him to now be the face of our program and to provide our student-athletes with the same commitment and dedication that he has given to Lexington for so many years."

"The most appealing aspect of this position was the opportunity to build a program from the ground up," Rastetter added with excitement. "Everything started to seem like a perfect fit once I got to campus and was able to meet Dawn and the rest of the staff. I couldn't be any more humbled or proud to be a part of this."

Rastetter enjoyed a very successful run at Lexington, compiling a dual-meet record of 208-34 while capturing eight-straight conference championships. In addition, the Minutemen won eight sectional titles, finished sectional runners-up four other times, and finished state runner-up as a team in 2009. His program achieved six top-10 individual finishes at the OHSAA state wrestling tournament over the past seven years.

"I think my entire career has led to this point," said Rastetter, the 2010 Division II Ohio Coach of the Year. "I'm excited to have this challenge and to be able to evolve as a coach. It gives me a great chance to push myself and grow as an individual, which is exactly the same thing I want from my wrestlers. It's going to be fun."

An eight-time Ohio Cardinal Conference Coach of the Year, Rastetter has produced 189 district qualifiers, 45 state qualifiers, 27 state placers and four state champions during his career. Eleven of his former Lexington wrestlers have gone on to compete at the college level, including five at Duke University. He is now eager to begin developing another winning formula at Otterbein.

Rastetter with one of his Lexington wrestlers after medaling at the OHSAA state tournament."I want a first-class program all the way," Rastetter said of his vision. "We are going to focus on being the true student-athlete; promoting a quality education and walking out with a degree. At the same time, our guys will have the opportunity to compete at the highest level on the wrestling mat."

Rastetter holds 23 years of coaching experience in all, which also includes 18 in both football and track at the junior high and high-school levels. He spent 15 years as a teacher, grades 4-8, before taking over his recent Dean of Students/Athletic Director role. Prior to Lexington, he taught and coached at Crestview High School in Ashland, Ohio, where he got his first head coaching job at the age of 20.

Rastetter received his bachelor's degree from Ashland University, in 1995, before obtaining a master's in technology education from Nova Southeastern University (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) in 2005. He and his wife, Michelle, have three children together; son, Collin, an 18-year old freshman at Ohio Wesleyan University, 15-year old son, Caden, and a four-year old daughter, Ella.

"I especially need to thank my family for supporting me in this endeavor," Rastetter said. "It's going to be a big change for everyone, but they have allowed me to chase after this 100 percent. I'm so appreciative and just very excited to get going as a Cardinal."

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