Head Wrestling Coach
Heidelberg University ’09
Dakota Wesleyan University ’12
Craig “Boomer” Fechko took over as the 11th head coach in Dakota Wesleyan University wrestling history in mid-March. This is Fechko’s first head coaching job, but not his first stint with the Tiger wrestling program.
Fechko comes to Dakota Wesleyan with coaching experience at several levels of collegiate wrestling, but most importantly he comes in with previous experience with the Tigers. The Broadview Heights, Ohio, native served as a graduate assistant wrestling coach at DWU from 2010-2012 under previous head coach Matt Sedivy, and played a key role in both recruiting and day-to-day operations with the program.
While at Dakota Wesleyan, Fechko helped coach 15 wrestlers who qualified for the NAIA National Championships, including one NAIA All-American. In 2010-11, Fechko helped lead a squad that took fourth in the Great Plains Athletic Conference and finished 18th at the national championships – the team’s best finish since 2003-04. In 2011-12, the Tigers went 7-10 – the most wins since the 1968-69 season – and finished tied for third in the conference.
In Fechko’s second year at DWU, five Tigers landed All-GPAC honors, including freshman Trever DeVestern on the All-GPAC First Team. He was the first freshman in DWU history to be named to the first team, and the first first-team performer since 2007. The five all-conference athletes were also the most in program history.
After graduating from Dakota Wesleyan in 2012 with a master’s degree in educational policy and administration, Fechko served as a volunteer assistant coach at NCAA Division I Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg, Penn., for the 2012-13 season. In the 2013-14 season, he served as an assistant wrestling coach for the Brunswick High School wrestling team and worked as a corrective learning center monitor at Willetts Middle School.
Fechko graduated in 2009 with a degree in business administration from Heidelberg University, an NCAA Division III school in Tiffin, Ohio. He wrestled at Heidelberg, but earned NCAA Division II All-American honors at the University of Findlay in Findlay, Ohio, prior to transferring to Heidelberg. While at Heidelberg he qualified for the NCAA Division III national tournament. After graduating, he was the head wrestling coach at Quincy High School in Quincy, Calif., and the assistant coach for the Legends of Gold club team in Quincy.
Fechko takes over a program that finished 9-7 overall and recorded the most wins since the 1968-69 season. The Tigers also finished 5-2 and tied for second in the GPAC. Six wrestlers qualified for the NAIA National Championships, and senior Richard Rios (133) and junior Trever DeVestern (165) both finished fourth to earn All-American honors.
DeVestern set the school record for winning percentage in a season with a 33-4 record, and he is second in the school’s all-time wins list with a 95-27 overall career record. DeVestern, Rios, senior Tyler Sarringar and junior Kyle Gerlach all earned All-GPAC accolades, and Sarringar, Gerlach and Nick Hutcheson earned NAIA-Daktronics Scholar-Athlete honors.