University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling head coach Kyle Ruschell announced the addition of Mike Hatcher as head assistant coach today.
Hatcher was previously a volunteer assistant with the Mocs from 2009-13, and spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach at Cal Poly.
"Mike Hatcher brings a wealth of knowledge on and off the mat to our programs," stated Ruschell. "His experience in terms of recruiting, fundraising, and outreach, not to mention his strong relationships within our own community, are invaluable assets during this exciting time for Chattanooga Wrestling!"
Hatcher returns to Chattanooga after serving coaching stints at Grand Canyon University and Cal Poly. He has had a plethora of experience, training both collegiate and senior-level freestyle athletes. Hatcher was a member of four national championship teams (1991-96) at the University of Iowa, where he wrestled for the legendary Dan Gable.
"I am extremely proud to accept the position of Head Assistant Wrestling Coach at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga," said Hatcher. "My previous experience in Chattanooga has provided me with the insight as to how special this city is and the amazing student-athletes the University attracts.
"I look forward to assisting the members of our current and future rosters in achieving their goals and allowing the program to scale to new heights. Coach Ruschell has a strong vision and passion for the Chattanooga Wrestling program, which I am excited to be part of. I am very grateful for the opportunity he has given me, and the confidence he has in me to be an asset to the success of our program."
During the last three seasons at Cal Poly, Hatcher served as an assistant coach under UTC alum Jon Sioredas. There, he helped five Mustang athletes earn bids to the NCAA Championships, including two-time national qualifier, Tom Lane, who narrowly missed attaining All-American status in Pittsburgh last season. He also assisted in landing a Top 25 recruiting class this past season according to the Open Mat.
Hatcher previously coached at UTC from 2009 to 2013 under former head coach Heath Esslinger. During his time in Chattanooga, he helped guide the Mocs to three Southern Conference Tournament titles while producing 14 individual conference champions and 17 NCAA qualifiers. During his tenure, he also served as the Director of the Chattanooga Wrestling Club, which produced more than 30 state champions, 60 state placers and 10 All-Americans.
On the freestyle circuit, Hatcher spent five years as Director of Olympic Regional Training Centers in Tennessee, Arizona, and California. He has been a very active member of USA Wrestling, having held positions on both the board of directors and as the state chairman.
While competing at the University of Iowa, he earned a Bachelor's Degree in Physical Education and Dean's List honors his senior year. Hatcher then went on to teach high school physical education and health for 10 years. He spent four years in Iowa at Durant High School and six years in Florida at Martin County High School, Krop High School, and Coral Glades High School.