New weight, new job, new town. It’s been a pretty busy couple of months for West Virginia University assistant wrestling coach Nick Marable, who joined the Mountaineers in July shortly before qualifying for the 2014 World Championships in Uzbekistan.
Things started rolling in February for the Tennessee native, who downed 2012 Olympic gold medalist and two-time World Champion Jordan Burroughs on his way to gold medal at the Yasar Dogu International in Instanbul, Turkey, making Marable the first person to defeat the Olympian at the senior level. He then went on to win the 2014 Las Vegas/Asics U.S. Open in April, guaranteeing himself a spot in the finals at the World Team Trials.
“My summer has been pretty busy. I’ve traveled doing camps with Sammie in California and a few in Missouri,” said Marable. “I’ve also been training to make the World team, which started at the U.S. Open in Vegas. After winning that, I kept training for World Team Trials. I accepted the job in the end of July shortly after the U.S. Open. I finally moved to Morgantown on July 15 but did not get to stay long because of my trials. Once I made the World Team, I came back for a little over a week and had to leave again for camp.”
In between the Yasar Dogu International and U.S. Open, Marable, who wrestles for WVU head coach Sammie Henson and Sunkist Kids, dropped from 74 kilograms (163 pounds) to 70 kilos (154 pounds).
“When they came out with the weight changes, Sammie and I decided it would be a great weight,” said Marable. “We both agreed that I could win a World Title at this weight.”
The strategy has worked thus far. In July, Marable won a 2-1 decision over James Green of Titan Mercury Wrestling Club at Phase II of the Senior World Team Trials in Fargo, North Dakota. The win earned him a trip to Tashkent, Uzbekistan, in September, where he will represent Team USA at the 2014 World Wrestling Championships.
A two-time All-American and three-time NCAA qualifier at Missouri, Marable has seamlessly made the transition from collegiate athlete to coach. He spent three seasons as an assistant strength & conditioning coach for the Tigers before making the move to assistant wrestling coach in 2013-14.
“I started coaching right after I graduated from college,” said Marable. “I was lucky enough to start with my alma mater. I wanted to keep training to make the U.S. team, and the Missouri coach offered me a somewhat part time coaching job while I trained. Shortly after that, Sammie Henson gave me the opportunity to coach full-time at WVU.”
A pair of Tigers claimed All-America honors in 2013-14, with Marable helping to guide J’Den Cox to the 2014 National Championship at 197 pounds. In addition to helping the Tigers progress, Marable feels his coaching career has aided in improving his own career, though it does bring about new challenges.
“Being a coach has helped improve the technical side of my wrestling,” said Marable. “When I watch the athletes, I notice things I’m doing wrong myself. Sometimes I have a difficult time finding enough time to make sure I get the workouts I need and also making sure I’m putting enough time in with the athletes as well.”
Marable returns to Morgantown for a few days before departing once again, taking some time to train, before heading to Tashkent, Uzbekistan with Henson and Team USA. He will compete at the World Championships, September 8-14, then return home and once again transition from athlete to coach as he joins Henson in starting a new era of WVU wrestling.