UTC Wrestling Coach Heath Eslinger Resigns

Thursday, July 19, 2018
Heath Eslinger
Heath Eslinger
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Mark Wharton announced the resignation of wrestling head coach Heath Eslinger today.  Eslinger, who spent nine seasons as head coach of his alma mater, informed Wharton of his decision this morning. 

"It was always my hope that Heath Eslinger spend the rest of his career leading our wrestling program," stated Wharton.  "He is an outstanding coach and an even better human being.  We are certainly going to miss him.

"As most of us know, he has become a sought-after public speaker and coaching mentor.  He has an opportunity to couple that with his faith and follow a new career path.
 We wish him and his family nothing but the best as they embark on this new journey."

Eslinger was hired on July 11, 2009 and went on to win six Southern Conference titles in nine seasons.  He has a career record of 101-61 (.623), including an amazing 53-5 (.914) mark in SoCon matches. 

He was twice named the SoCon Coach of the Year (2011, 2013), and has coached two SoCon Wrestlers of the Year, two SoCon Tournament MVPs and three SoCon Freshmen of the Year.  The Mocs have also brought home 25 individual league titles in this tenure. 

"I can't express my gratitude enough for the University, this department, our alumni and all of our student-athletes and coaches for the privilege of leading this program," stated Eslinger.  "I have truly been blessed to be able to lead this team and be around such great people. 

"I am not leaving one thing, but rather running toward something that has been a passion of mine for several years.  I will do everything I can to help move this program forward and position it for success in the future.  I believe the best days are ahead for Chattanooga Wrestling and I know our administration is in full support. 

"My children have grown up here and we are grateful for the friends, colleagues, parents and many others who have made this special for all of us. I look forward to seeing what the future holds here and can't wait to see how God uses my family in the future."

The Mocs have been at the forefront of the promotion of collegiate wrestling during Eslinger's tenure with the creation of the "Chattanooga Strong" brand.  His aggressive marketing approach helped UTC set attendance records in Maclellan Gym, including a sold out crowd (2,639) for the Iowa match in 2013.

Eslinger orchestrated the move of the Southern Scuffle to Chattanooga's McKenzie Arena in 2012.  The Southern Scuffle has grown into the top in-season collegiate tournament in the nation.

There has also been a marked improvement in the classroom under Eslinger's watch.  The Mocs have finished in the top-10 in the nation in team grade-point-average among wrestling programs three times and topped a 3.0 GPA as a team for the first time in the fall of 2016.  They repeated that feat with another 3.0 semester in the fall of 2017.

"Kyle Ruschell will serve as the Interim Head Coach and we will begin a national search for a replacement immediately," added Wharton.  "Like all of our positions at Chattanooga, I fully expect to receive interest from highly qualified candidates from across the country.  Coach Eslinger carried on the outstanding tradition of Chattanooga Wrestling, and I look forward to finding the next person who is the right fit to lead our program." 

PREP SCHEDULES

PHOTOS: Tyner Invades Central

PHOTOS: Baylor Takes Measure Of Riverdale, 62-41


PREP BASKETBALL MONDAY, DECEMBER 17 Riverdale at Baylor Ooltewah at McMinn Central CSAS at Harriman Richard Hardy at Howard TUESDAY, DECEMBER 18 Brainerd at Red Bank ... (click for more)

Baylor (7-0) remains undefeated after knocking off Murfreesboro power Riverdale (9-2), 62-41, in a contest held at Duke Arena Monday night. (click for more)


Sports

PREP SCHEDULES

PREP BASKETBALL MONDAY, DECEMBER 17 Riverdale at Baylor Ooltewah at McMinn Central CSAS at Harriman Richard Hardy at Howard TUESDAY, DECEMBER 18 Brainerd at Red Bank Tellico Plains at Lookout Valley Hixson at Howard South Pittsburg at Sale Creek Tyner at Central Notre Dame at Silverdale Tennessee Christian Prep at Grace THURSDAY, DECEMBER ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: Tyner Invades Central

Breaking News

34 Homes To Go In On Large Tract In Red Bank That Will Be Clearcut

A new neighborhood is being planned for Red Bank. Ethan Collier, owner of Collier Construction Company, has requested rezoning for a large tract of undeveloped property at 4701 Delashmitt Road from R-1A residential to R-T/Z Townhouse/Townhouse/Zero Lot Line to build a development of 34 single family homes. At the last commission meeting of 2018, he told the commissioners that ... (click for more)

No One Home When Wheeler Avenue Home Burns

A house on Wheeler Avenue burned late Tuesday night, and it was later found that no one was at home at the time. At approximately 11:32 p.m., the Chattanooga Fire Department, Chattanooga Police and Hamilton County EMS Medic 14 were dispatched to 1803 Wheeler Ave. on a fully involved house fire. Engine 4, Engine 5, Quint 10, Squad 1 with Engine 15, Battalion 1 and Battalion ... (click for more)

Opinion

An Open Letter Concerning The Proposed Ooltewah Waste Treatment Facility - And Response (2)

The Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority and County Commissioner Tim Boyd want to build a sewage treatment plant in my backyard. I bought my house in Ooltewah in 1994, raised my children here and worked hard to pay it off. My home has been my small piece of the American Dream. Now, the WWTA and Commissioner Boyd want to reward my hard work by taking away about ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Real Christmas Miracle

There is a huge shopping mall in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin -- think of a suburb of Milwaukee -- and about two-to-three miles away from the Mayfair Mall is where the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is located. The fact the renowned medical center is in the vicinity of the mall is what we call “a salient point,” which are very important when a story is presented that many, many people ... (click for more)