OTTUMWA – Indian Hills Community College has a coach to lead its men’s and women’s wrestling programs when the sport debuts on the IHCC Centerville Campus.
Cole Spree, the head wrestling coach at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls for the past eight years, has been tapped to be the first coach of the fledgling programs at Indian Hills.
Spree, a very successful coach and an accomplished wrestler in high school and college, will come to Indian Hills immediately to get the programs for men and women ready to compete in the 2020-21 academic year.
“To be able to help grow wrestling, and especially women’s wrestling, has always been a goal of mine,” Spree said. “Women’s wrestling is one of the fastest emerging sports at all levels and it’s exciting to be a part of it. The chance to work for an institution and community that puts a priority on success made this a ‘can’t miss’ opportunity. My family and I can’t wait to get to Centerville and begin establishing Indian Hills’ first wrestling program.”
Spree, a native of Parkersburg, became the head wrestling coach at Ellsworth before the 2011-12 season and helped develop 29 All-Americans and 11 national tournament finalists. The Panthers finished in the top 10 at the national tournament in each of the past six seasons, with a third-place showing in 2016 and a fifth-place last spring, a runner-up finish at the 2016 NWCA duals tourney and in the top four in four consecutive years. Spree was named the ICCAC coach of the year in 2013 and 2019.
Prior to his head coaching experience at Ellsworth, Spree was an assistant for one year at Minot State University in North Dakota and for a year at Ellsworth. At Minot State, Spree worked with a team that produced 10 national qualifiers and ranked as high as 15th in the nation as the program which was restarted after being dormant for nearly 20 years.
“I’m excited to add Cole to our athletic department,” said IHCC athletic director Dr. Brett Monaghan. “During the search process Cole quickly became our top target. His success at the NJCAA level speaks for itself, but his commitment to the college he works for, his student-athletes and the community he lives in really stood out to me. I believe Cole and his family will be an outstanding addition to the Centerville community and I look forward to getting to work with him right away to begin building both our men’s and women’s wrestling program.”
On the mat, Spree was a three-time state placewinner for Aplington-Parkersburg High School before enrolling at Ellsworth, where he became an All-American. Spree was a two-time national qualifier for Northwestern College before beginning his coaching career.
The new IHCC coach earned his associate degree from Ellsworth, a bachelor’s degree at Northwestern and a master’s in business management from Minot State.