Hibbs steps down as wrestling coach

Coach Todd Hibbs
Coach Todd Hibbs

Alma, Mich. - Todd Hibbs, who has served as the head coach of the Alma College wrestling program since 2011, has resigned to pursue other opportunities, it was announced today (Friday, June 17, 2016) by Athletic Director Steven Rackley.

"Todd has taken our wrestling program to national prominence and has set it on a course so that we can consistently compete at a high level," Rackley said. "I am very thankful for all that Todd has done for Alma College through the wrestling program and I wish him and his family all the best in the next chapter of their lives." 

"I am extremely thankful for all that Coach Hibbs has done for Alma College and for our student-athletes," Alma College President Jeff Abernathy said. "He has built the wrestling program into one of the best in Division III, while insisting on excellence on and off the mats. Proud as I am of the team's accomplishments in competition, I am prouder still of their great success as students."

Under Hibbs' guidance, the Scots grew into a consistent top-20 team in NCAA Division III, peaking at sixth in the nation in the National Wrestling Coaches Association and d3wrestle.com polls this past season. With Hibbs at the helm, the Scots compiled a cumulative record of 51-29 in dual meet competition while also finishing among the top 12 teams in three national events - twice at the NWCA National Duals and at the 2016 NCAA Division III Championships in March. At the 2016 NCAA meet, Alma had three All-Americans, marking the first time in the history of the program the Scots had more than one at the national championships.

"Five years ago the state of Michigan desperately needed another option for college wrestling, and Alma College stepped up to the plate," Hibbs said. "I'm so grateful for (Alma College trustee and alumnus) Greg Hatcher's vision of bringing wrestling back to Alma, and for President Abernathy's support of that vision. And I cannot thank (Associate Head Coach) Jeremiah Tobias and (Assistant Coach) Fletcher Roberts enough for their tireless work in building this program. Our families are linked forever as Scots."

According to Hibbs, the breakthrough moment for the program came in January 2013 when the Scots posted a 16-15 win over ninth-ranked Olivet College at Art Smith Arena. After falling to the Comets by a 49-0 margin the previous year, Alma came back in its second season to upset the top-10 program and continue a home winning streak that has lasted four years. 

In addition to the success on the mat, Alma has become one of the elite programs academically, as the Scots were recognized three times by the NWCA with a team grade-point average of 3.5 or higher. Over the past five seasons, 21 Scots have been named Scholar All-Americans by the NWCA, including eight in the 2014-15 season, the most across all NCAA divisions.

Hibbs also worked with the Alma College Advancement Office to raise nearly $4 million for a new addition to the Hogan Center, which will open later this summer. The project includes a wrestling room, a new weight room, new coaching offices, a coaching locker room, a team locker room, and a new studio for the Scots' cheerleading and STUNT team. 

Hibbs served as a member of the NCAA Wrestling Rules Committee while he was coaching the Scots and is currently a student in the Ph.D. program for Higher Education Leadership at Central Michigan University with a research focus on first-generation college students. According to the NCAA, wrestling has a higher percentage (37 percent) of first-generation students than any other NCAA-sponsored sport.