Alijah Jeffery Named First Women’s Wrestling Coach at Fort Hays State

Courtesy of Fort Hays State Athletics – Link

HAYS, Kan. – Fort Hays State University announced on March 13, 2023 the hiring of Alijah Jeffery as the first Women’s Wrestling Head Coach at Fort Hays State University. Jeffery will have a whole year to recruit and put together a team before Fort Hays State begins competition in 2024-25.

“I could not be more excited to officially become the first head coach of Fort Hays State’s women’s wrestling program,” said Jeffery. “From the moment of Fort Hays State’s announcement of adding the sport, I knew this would be a place for women’s wrestlers to grow and succeed. I would like to thank athletic director Curtis Hammeke, and the rest of the Fort Hays State athletic staff for giving me this amazing opportunity. Fort Hays has a special community, amazing support, and a family atmosphere. There is no place I’d rather build a program and can’t wait to begin building a very special program at Fort Hays State!”

“We are excited about Coach Jeffery starting our women’s wrestling program,” FHSU Director of Athletics Curtis Hammeke said. “He has proven expertise in collegiate wrestling to go along with his passion and enthusiasm. We look forward to watching the program grow under his leadership.”

Jeffery comes to Fort Hays State from Chadron State College in Chadron, Nebraska, where he served as Head Women’s Wrestling Coach for two years from 2021-2023. Without a full year to recruit a team for a new sport at Chadron State, Jeffery quickly constructed a competitive team of eight wrestlers in the program’s first year, coaching four that qualified for the NCWWC National Championship and five to Scholar All-America honors. In his second year of 2022-23, he brought in a big recruiting class of 21 individuals to the program and once again coached four national qualifiers. One of those national qualifiers in 2022-23 was a regional champion. Jeffery also served as the Nebraska Freestyle National Team Coach during his time at Chadron State.

Alijah Jeffery action
Photo courtesy of Chadron State College Athletics

Prior to his head coaching stint at Chadron State, Jeffery served as an assistant coach for both men’s and women’s wrestling at Indian Hills Community College in Centerville, Iowa. He helped coach the women’s program to its first junior college national championship in 2021 before moving on to be head coach of the new women’s program at Chadron State. He helped start the run of what has turned into three-straight junior college national titles for Indian Hills (2021-2023), and helped coach three wrestlers to individual national titles and 11 to All-America status during the 2020-21 season. Jeffery was hired in December of 2019 at Indian Hills and worked alongside head coach Cole Spree in the spring of 2020 to recruit the school’s first women’s wrestling team, which started competition in 2020-21 and went on to win the junior college national tournament and national dual titles that season.

Jeffery wrestled collegiately at Northern Illinois University, where he was in the starting lineup all four years. He was a state champion and four-time state placer in high school, as well as a USA Folkstyle national champion and a Fargo Freestyle Nationals All-American. Jeffery is a native of Marion, Iowa. He earned his B.A. degree from Northern Illinois University and is currently working on his master’s degree at Chadron State College.

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