InterMat Wrestling – Maple joins Missouri coaching staff

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COLUMBIA, Mo. — Mizzou Head Wrestling Coach Brian Smith has added one of the nation’s top rising young coaches to his staff as Kendric Maple has joined the program as an assistant coach, subject to the completion of a successful background check per University policy, announced today by Mizzou Wrestling. Maple, a three-time All-American and 2013 NCAA Champion, comes to Mizzou after a successful two-year coaching stint at Nebraska where he coached five All-Americans and one NCAA Champion. Maple takes over the position that was left vacated by the departure of Joe Johnston, who took an associate head coaching job at Air Force earlier this month.

Kendric Maple (Photo/Mark Lundy, Lutte-Lens.com)

“We’re excited to welcome Kendric to Tiger Style and his success both as a coach and on the mat embody what Tiger Style is all about,” head coach Brian Smith said. “Kendric is a US Freestyle champion and won an NCAA Title at Oklahoma, so he understands what it takes to win at the highest levels of our sport, and I know he can serve as a great teacher and mentor to our wrestlers. I expect him to have a profound impact on our team and I can’t wait for him to get started in the room with us.”

“My family and I are very excited to have this opportunity to work with such a great program,” Maple said. “Coach Smith has proven his ability to build student-athletes, both on and off the mat. I will greatly miss the staff and student-athletes at Nebraska, but I am looking forward to being able to work with this amazing program.”

Maple spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach at Nebraska, helping the Huskers to a ninth-place finish at the 2017-18 NCAA Championships and a 10th place finish last season. In 2017-18, he guided Chad Red Jr. to All-America honors at 141 pounds, as Red became NU’s first All-American at that weight since 2004. Red again earned All-American honors at last year’s NCAA Championships. Maple also helped Tyler Berger and Taylor Venz to All-America honors in 2018. At the 2019 NCAA Championships, he helped coached Berger to a second-place nod at 157 pounds as well.

Prior to joining the Nebraska staff, Maple spent one year at Purdue as an assistant coach, where he helped lead three Boilermakers to the 2017 NCAA Championships. While there, he worked alongside new Mizzou Associate Head Coach Tyrel Todd, who joined Mizzou earlier this summer after a very successful career at Purdue.

Maple’s coaching career began at his alma mater, Oklahoma, where he was a volunteer assistant from 2014-16. During his two seasons on staff, Maple coached former teammate Cody Brewer to the 133-pound title at the 2015 NCAA Championships. In 2016, Maple helped Brewer claim his fourth All-America honor with a third-place finish at 133 pounds at the NCAA Championships. Maple also played a key role in Ryan Millhof’s 2016 Big 12 title run and All-America finish at 125 pounds.

Maple was one of the most successful wrestlers in OU history, as he won three All-America awards and posted a 127-25 (.836) career record from 2010-14. His 127 wins rank sixth all-time at Oklahoma.

Maple concluded his 2012-13 season by claiming the 141-pound NCAA title and finishing a perfect 31-0. The following year, after moving to 149 pounds, Maple became OU’s 25th three-time All-American after placing eighth at the NCAA Championships. He took fourth in 141 pounds in 2012.

Off the mat, Maple was named to the Capital One Academic All-America Division I At-Large Team in 2014. Additionally, he was a three-time NWCA All-Academic Team member (2012, 2013, 2014), a two-time first-team Academic All-Big 12 honoree (2013, 2014) and a second-team Academic All-Big 12 selection (2012). He also won the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, as well as the Big 12 Dr. Prentice Gautt Postgraduate Scholarship.

Maple continued to see success in freestyle wrestling following the completion of his college career. He was a member of the United States team in 2018 that won the UWW Freestyle World Cup for the first time since 2003. Maple is a two-time U.S. Freestyle Open Men’s finalist (61 kg), winning the title in April 2017. He also won the 61 kg title at the 2017 Medved International. Maple was a finalist in the 61 kg at the 2017 U.S. Freestyle World Team Trials. He was the runner-up at the 2015 U.S. Open, as he qualified for the U.S. Freestyle World Team Trials, where he earned a fourth-place finish.

Originally from Wichita, Kan., Maple earned his bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma in health and exercise science in May 2013. He received his master’s degree in adult and higher education, with an emphasis in intercollegiate athletic administration from OU in May 2015. Maple and his wife, Jordin, have two sons, Kiner and Kyro.





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