Newman University alumnus and former wrestling stand-out Dalton Weidl recently started his new role as head women’s wrestling coach at Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kansas.
Although he just started his position on June 7, Weidl has already settled into his role, focusing on recruiting and talking to female wrestlers about their potential to thrive at Ottawa. His No. 1 goal at the university is to grow the women’s wrestling program.
“I’m trying to give as many girls the opportunity to wrestle in college who want to,” Weidl says.
Before arriving at Ottawa University, the 2018 Newman graduate in criminal justice and 2014 Newman Jets Breakthrough Athlete of the Year was the head boys and girls wrestling coach at Ottawa High School — his old stomping grounds and the school where he earned the title of 2014 Kansas 4A State Champion.
While there, Weidl coached 24 state qualifiers and a 2021 Kansas Girls State Champion. He was also named the 2021 District Coach of the Year and helped the high school achieve an undefeated 2021 Frontier League championship and a 2019 regional championship.
Weidl has known Colby Crank, Ottawa University’s head men’s wrestling coach, for a few years so when the women’s wrestling coach position opened up, Weidl was encouraged to apply. Now he can focus on coaching full time; at Ottawa High School, he had dual roles as both teacher and coach.
“I felt like I was putting all my effort into one or the other, but this year I can actually give all my effort to coaching, and I’m really looking forward to that,” he says.
A passion for athletics
Weidl has been involved with sports since he was little, and loves helping athletes realize that sports can enable them to get where they want in life.
“I know what it did for me, and I know what it can do for other people, so I love being able to give that opportunity to other people,” he says.
As he dives further into his role as head coach of Ottawa University’s women’s wrestling team, Weidl plans to draw on his time at Newman to inspire his athletes to succeed. When he arrived at his alma mater as a freshman, the wrestling program wasn’t well known, but that changed during his time as a student. By the time he graduated, Weidl was a Jet Invitational Champion, a two-time Kansas Cup Champion, a 2017 Midwest Classic Finalist and was nationally ranked.
“Being able to help build that program and be part of it is what stood out to me the most,” he says of his time on the wrestling team.
Newman head wrestling coach Ryan Smith is nothing but excited for Weidl’s new chapter.
“He’s going to do big things,” Smith says. “He’s a hungry kid, he’s eager to learn, and he’s going to do everything he can that’s within his power to make sure that program is successful.”