Ryan Burnison Selected to Lead Warner Pacific University Wrestling Team as Next Head Coach

Courtesy of Warner Pacific Athletics – Link

PORTLAND | Following a national search by the Warner Pacific University (WPU) Search Committee, the university welcomes Ryan Burnison as the next Head Coach of the WPU Wrestling program. Coach Burnison joins Warner Pacific University as the 2nd WPU Wrestling coach, following the departure of the original Head Coach, Frank Johnson, in October, 2021. Burnison brings four successful seasons as the Wrestling Head Coach at Sabino High School in Tucson, Ariz. with him, where he introduced two different wrestling programs to the school (Freestyle and Greco-Roman).

“We are excited to have Ryan join our athletic department and head up our wrestling program,” Matt Gregg, Interim Director of Athletics said. “We had a lot of qualified candidates and conducted rounds of interviews throughout December and January. Ryan was our top choice.”

At Sabino High School, Ryan started with just one student in 2018. Since then, Ryan’s program extended to over 20 students for the 2021-22 season, and has had four different state qualifying wrestlers in his four seasons.

Coach Burnison graduated in 2015 with a Bachelors Degree in Social Science Education with a coaching endorsement. Since his collegiate days, Coach Burnison has been a high school social studies teacher in both Nebraska and Arizona. Aside from coaching wrestling, he has also coached football, baseball, and track and field, serving in many roles among those teams. In his career as a wrestling coach, Ryan has helped produce 23 State Qualifiers, 1 State Champion, and 4 other medalists in that time.

Outside of wrestling, Coach enjoys hunting and fishing, spending time with his wife Erica, and cuddling up on the couch on Saturdays with his dog, Munster. Coach Burnison is a die-hard University of Nebraska Cornhuskers fan. Ryan is also a member of the Methodist Church of Louisville, Neb., and his belief in faith, family, and wrestling is the guiding force and purpose in his life.

“Warner Pacific excites me due to its location and commitment to the principals of faith and family. I will do everything I can at Warner Pacific to give young men the opportunity to wrestle, seek a stronger relationship with Christ, and graduate being prepared for the rest of their lives. I feel like Warner Pacific will give me the tools to build a strong foundation and create a wrestling program built on faith, perseverance, and dedication,” said Coach Burnison.

Coach Burnison will be on WPU’s campus beginning May 1st, 2022. Meanwhile, the Warner Pacific University Men’s Wrestling program has selected an Interim Head Coach who will work with the existing Assistant Coach and Volunteer Staff who are looking ahead to finish out the year with the Cascade Collegiate Conference Championships later this month.
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