Not an ideal start for GSC’s Cottrell
GLENVILLE — First-year Glenville State College head wrestling coach Dylan Cottrell is anxious to sign recruits and build his program as the Pioneers are sponsoring the sport for the first time since 1974.
However, like everyone else in the country the ex-Roane County Raider and former Robert Dutton Award winner is having to deal with the current COVID-19 pandemic.
“Me and one of my buddies are pretty much quarantined together. We’re pretty much doing all of our stuff and social distancing from everyone else,” admitted Cottrell, who in 2017 became the first Big 12 champ for West Virginia University.
“We’ve been trying to figure out stuff, but it’s not going too well. Maybe in the next week we’ll figure out something.”
One thing Cottrell has been good at figuring out is being successful at wrestling. Now, he’s ready to try and lead the NCAA Division II Pioneers.
“It’s different. It’s been pretty wild with all this starting and trying to deal with recruiting from the forefront and also adding this on top of everything it’s a little wrinkled,” he said. “I can still contact recruits and stuff, just not official visits. We can still talk on the phone and email and text the kids.
“Once that April 15 dead period ends and we get kids down here, we have a good bit of guys who are interested. We had a big open house that was going to happen on March 30 and we had eight or nine recruits that maybe would’ve signed.”
Cottrell said he understands fully the dead period from the NCAA might be extended.
“If this stuff is still crazy they might meet again and make the dead period longer,” noted the former Appalachian State University grappler, who reached the NCAA tournament three times and earned his degree in communication studies from WVU.
“If that happens then you are looking at some more stuff getting postponed. It’s really tough for us because we are trying to have our inaugural year with wrestling.”
Following graduation in Morgantown, Cottrell coached at Brown University and then ended up as an assistant coach at Cabell Midland High School for the past two years where he’s been working on his masters.
“I don’t finish my masters (of science in healthcare administration at Marshall) until the end of June,” he said. “I was splitting time between Huntington and Glenville and I was going back and forth. I just moved down to Glenville because everything can be done online.
“I was up there (at Brown) for a year and a half. I was the club coach and I was wrestling freestyle for the New England Regional Training Center and was a volunteer assistant coach at Brown. I was doing a lot of different things up there with wrestling.”
A constant Cottrell likes to live by is “persistence and consistency. Those go real well with wrestling. If you are able to continue to be consistent in your every day life that’s going to end up turning into good things.
“I think that’s something since I got to college and training that’s what I focus on being consistent in my life and everything around me will take care of itself. I think that’s how I got into good situations, letting the stuff I can’t control go. Attitude and effort, make sure that’s good every day and good stuff will come from that.”
Putting in hard work and being dedicated is something Cottrell has been doing for years.
He definitely doesn’t take his current opportunity for granted.
“When you are in wrestling it’s a small community and you will have people reach out to you and you have to figure out what’s the right move for you or the right move at that point,” Cottrell said.
“I’ve done a lot of different things in wrestling, but taking a head job at 25 years old is an opportunity not many people get to take. Starting a new program, one, it was a challenge and two it was just an opportunity I needed to jump at.”
Ideally, the new head man said he’d like to have a first recruiting class of about 20 wrestlers.
“Wrestling is a long season and a lot of little injuries here and there,” Cottrell continued. “We want to be able to fill a team consistently. The real goal is to fill a healthy full team throughout the year.
“If we can do it with 15 that’s great, but the real goal it to not have byes out there and try to be competitive right away.”
Despite basically being stuck in a holding pattern, Cottrell is in high spirits and plans to be successful on the mat.
“It’s just rolling with the punches,” he added. “You definitely have to take this day by day. Last week, every single day we were getting something different and it could still change.
“You just have to see what’s in front of you, deal with it and go from there. Best case scenario, this is definitely not it for starting a new program. We’ll be OK when it calms down.”
Contact Jay Bennett at email@example.com