Daniel Ownbey Named Montevallo’s First Men’s Wrestling Head Coach

Courtesy of Montevallo Athletics – Link

MONTEVALLO, Ala. – The University of Montevallo Athletics Department has announced Daniel Ownbey as the first Men’s Wrestling Head Coach in school history.

Ownbey comes to Montevallo from Wheeling University where he has served as the head coach since 2020.

“I would like to thank Mark Richard and Dr. John Stewart for the opportunity to become the first head wrestling coach at the University of Montevallo,” remarked Ownbey.  “I am extremely excited to be returning to the south and beginning the process of building what will be a successful program. I want to also thank Wheeling University and Carrie Hanna for the amazing opportunity they provided me. There are amazing things in the future for the University of Montevallo, and I am excited to be a part of their family.”

In May, President John Stewart announced the addition of Men’s Wrestling, marking the university’s 22nd intercollegiate athletic sport.

“We are really excited to serve wrestling student-athletes coming into the Falcon Family,” said Dr. Stewart. “Too many of our high school wrestlers have had to leave Alabama to compete at the highest levels so we are very pleased to keep them right here in their home state.”

With the addition of men’s wrestling Montevallo became just the second university in the state to offer the sport and the first at the NCAA Division II level. “Daniel has the opportunity to change the landscape of college wrestling in Alabama. Montevallo will be the only Division II institution sponsoring the sport and providing wrestling scholarships to prospective wrestling student-athletes,” said Director of Athletics Mark Richard. “Daniel brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Montevallo and he will hit the ground running as he recruits to field the first team in school history for the Fall 2023 semester.”

During the 2021 season at Wheeling, Ownbey helped rebuild a wrestling program that had not been active since the 2018-2019 season. He worked on recruiting and put together a roster that could be the foundation of the program. He had three wrestlers compete in the MEC Championships.

Ownbey arrived in Wheeling after spending the 2019-2020 season as an assistant coach at Division II Newberry College in South Carolina. Prior to that, he had coaching stints at Greensboro College, UNC Pembroke and Ferrum College.

During his coaching experience, Ownbey has helped tutor a combined 17 regional placers and seven national qualifiers.While at Newberry, Owenby was part of a program that placed five wrestlers at the NCAA Super Region 2 Tournament and had four qualifiers for the NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships.

Ownbey helped with the continued development of 2019 National Runner-Up and 2020 Super Region II Wrestler of the Year Isaiah Royal. Royal, who wrestled at the 141-pound weight class, went 23-2 during the 2019-20 season with both losses coming to Division I opponents.

As a student-athlete, Ownbey was a four-time All-American and a two-time national champion in the 141-pound weight class at UNC Pembroke. He became the school’s first-ever two-time champion, its third four-time All-American, and graduated in 2015 as the program’s third-winningest wrestler with a career mark of 133-18 (.881). Ownbey was the Region II Wrestler of the Year in 2015 and a finalist for the NCAA Division II Wrestler of the Year that season.

A native of Asheville, North Carolina, Ownbey was a two-time state champion at Enka High School, where he won 110 of his last 111 high school matches.

Ownbey earned his Bachelor of Science in Exercise Sports Science from UNC Pembroke in 2015.  He is married to his wife Elisabeth.

Men’s Wrestling will debut at Montevallo in the fall of 2023.

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