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Jason Bryant on F&M and Head Coach Mike Rogers

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Jason Bryant on F&M and Head Coach Mike Rogers

Postby Allen Brown » Fri Oct 16, 2015 4:39 pm

^^Here is a copy of an Oct 16 post by Jason Bryant on TheMat forum-

I announced F&M home duals for two and a half years while I lived in Lancaster. I've got a pretty good understanding of their athletics and the hurdles the school has to face to continue to be a Division I wrestling school. The best man in my wedding wrestled at F&M.

We have to fully understand that what's important to wrestling fans about the roles their wrestling programs play with a school isn't always about winning. A school like F&M, which competes in the Centennial Conference in Division III for most of their sports, has a vision that the athletics programs play a role in a well-rounded college experience. We wouldn't be having this conversation about F&M if they were a Division III wrestling program. Their wrestling tradition, no matter how spotty when it comes to putting wrestlers on the Division I podium, is a unique one. They are the ONLY Division I wrestling school that's Division III in other sports. You see that with ice hockey and lacrosse (and a few schools in women's sports), but the final outcome of F&M's wrestling program can't be the same as what Iowa wishes to achieve.

They identify with like-minded institutions. Being non-scholarship, you'll have that limitation. I wrote a lengthy series on F&M back in 2008 when I was with InterMat and the school cannot add athletic scholarships to its D1 wrestling program because they weren't grandfathered in when rules were changed (like Johns Hopkins lacrosse is, for example).

For F&M to have "one good wrestler" ... well, that's a plus for the school. It's a win for the school. Rick Durso being the first All-American in almost 30 years showed you can produce results, even with one wrestler, in a small, private non-scholarship situation. Every place has creative financial aid. F&M is one helluva instutution. Small class sizes, Lancaster is a cool city but it's also got a rural atmosphere just five miles off campus. I know NUMEROUS F&M graduates who now work on Wall Street and the F&M degree is worth something, even with the hefty debt you might come out of school with.

Let's not place the same expectations on a "team" from the Big Ten and a school like F&M. It takes a different type of student and a different type of coach to thrive in that environment and Mike Rogers has consistently put wrestlers (other than Durso) into the NCAA championships. The previous staff (not a shot at them, but comparatively speaking) had ONE qualifier in like 12 years.

Mike Rogers IS a good coach. He produced results at American. He's produced results complimentary to the vision of F&M athletics. It's so easy to look at a dual meet record and a roster of kids who might not be qualifying for the show and deduce that Rogers isn't a good coach. That would be short-sighted and quite frankly, wrong.

F&M has seen TREMENDOUS improvement in the quality of kid they're bringing in, and their schedule has been improved. Sure, they still have a local D3 match here and there, but they're not missing the big guns and getting blown out by also-rans, they're more competitive top to bottom than they've been in decades.

That's Mike Rogers ...
Allen Brown

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