(Cowley Sports Information) ARKANSAS CITY, Kan. – Beau Vest knows what it is like to build a wrestling program, having done so at Midland University in Fremont, NE. After leading the Warriors for the past seven seasons and to a seventh place finish at the 2017 NAIA National Championships, Vest was recently named the first head coach in the history of the Cowley College wrestling program.
Vest became Midland's head coach in 2010 after Midland purchased Dana College. In his first season at Midland, Vest led the Warriors to an eighth-place finish at the NAIA National Championships.
He hopes to have the same impact for the new wrestling program at Cowley College which will begin in the fall of 2017.
"We want to be as competitive as possible right off the bat," Vest said. "We want to bring in tough, quality kids that will set a good foundation for year two of the recruiting class."
Along with his teams' success at Midlands, Vest coaches two individual national champions.
Cowley College athletic director Shane Larson excited to have the coaching search finalized and is looking forward to having Vest lead the Tiger wrestling program.
"Beau has competed at the highest level at every institution he has been at and the fact he was interested in starting a wrestling program at Cowley goes to show the potential there is," Larson said.
Prior to coaching at Midland University Vest returned home to serve as head wrestling coach at Topeka High School in Topeka, Kan., for six years where he coached 11 state medalists, three state finalists and two state champions. He was also a member of the Team Kansas Cadet Freestyle/Greco National Coaching staff.
Vest earned his bachelor's degree from Missouri Valley College in mathematics and secondary education in 2001 where he was a four-time NAIA Wrestling All-American, three-time National Finalist and 1996 National Champion at 118 pounds. He also attended Oklahoma State University. He helped lead NAIA wrestling powerhouse Missouri Valley College to two national team titles and three runner-up finishes.
Having wrestled in Kansas and Oklahoma, Vest knows all about the wrestling success historically in Arkansas City.
"I have got a lot of connections in that part of the state and am proud to have grown up wrestling in Kansas," Vest said. "I have always known about the great wrestling high school and kids clubs programs in Arkansas City and hope to be able to expand that to the college level."
At Midlands, Vest challenged his wrestlers by scheduling tough competition year in and year out.
"I want us to compete against the best to prepare us for the end of the season," Vest said. "People remember what you do at the end of the season and not the beginning."
Vest is eager to come back to Kansas and recruit the Kansas and Oklahoma high schools.
"I chose to come to Cowley because of the history of wrestling in that area, my ties to Kansas and Oklahoma, and the potential to do something special here," Vest said.
Larson said a wrestling program at Cowley has been a long time coming.
"We are excited to finally have this process done. Beau Vest has a great resume and is the perfect person to lead the program," Larson said.