Weidl leaves OHS to take over OU women's wrestling program

Greg Mast
The Ottawa Herald

Dalton Weidl helped put Ottawa wrestling on the map in so many different levels.

As a youngster, he competed in the Mat Masters program. At Ottawa High School, he became the second state champion in program history.

Weidl

He returned to Ottawa — after a successful career at Newman University — to coach the Cyclones in 2018. This spring, he coached his sister, Darby, to a girls state championship.

Now, he has an opportunity to grow the Ottawa University women’s program. Weidl was hired as the new head women’s wrestling program, effective June 7.

“I have had the pleasure of knowing Dalton throughout both my competitive and coaching career, and have witnessed his impact within the sport first-hand over the years,” Colby Crank, Ottawa University Director of Wrestling and head men’s wrestling coach, said. “He has completely revamped and revitalized the Ottawa High School program in town, has increased their participation in a short period of time, and saw immediate results by winning league titles, as well as producing multiple state placers.”

Weidl was the head boys and girls wrestling coach at OHS since 2018. While at OHS, he created weekly practice plans, developed in-season and off-season strength and conditioning programs, oversaw both program’s budgets, managed fundraising and booster donations, monitored student-athlete academic progress, was responsible for department communication, and advocated for both the academic and athletic success of all individuals involved in the program. 

“Dalton was fortunate enough to be in a head coaching role at the high school level when KSHAA sanctioned our women’s state tournament, and his enthusiasm for women’s wrestling is infectious,” Crank said. “Coaching his sister Darby to a state title just this last season, he has had a special opportunity to become entrenched not only locally, but statewide in our growing women’s wrestling community. I have no doubt he is going to do a great job for us.”

Weidl’s connection with Crank led to his decision to leave his alma mater.

“I am honored to have been selected as OU's women's wrestling coach, and to join such a talented program,” Weidl said. “Many thanks go to Arabie Conner, Bruce Tate and coach Colby Crank for giving me this opportunity.

“Coach Crank and I entered the Ottawa wrestling community in 2018, when he was hired as the head coach at OU and I returned to my alma mater to lead the program at Ottawa High School... [We] connected quickly as we share the same coaching mentality and had a desired goal to change the culture of wrestling in Ottawa. This made the opportunity to join the OU wrestling program very attractive, [knowing] I would be joining a program that shares the same ambition [and would] be surrounded by individuals who share the same vision.”

Weidl has been successful on the mat as well as in the coaching ranks.

He was named the 2021 District Coach of the Year, helped OHS to an undefeated 2021 Frontier League championship, and a 2019 regional championship. In the past three years, Weidl has coached 24 state qualifiers and a 2021 Kansas girls state champion. 

Weidl graduated from Newman University in 2018 with a degree in criminal justice. He will complete his masters in special education from Pittsburg State University in the summer of 2021.

Weidl was a member of the Newman University men’s wrestling program. He was a Jet Invitational Champion, a two-time Kansas Cup Champion, a 2017 Midwest Classic Finalist, was nationally ranked, and earned the 2014 Newman Jets Breakthrough Athlete of the Year. Weidl competed in the 197 and 285 pound weight classes for the Jets.

At Ottawa High School, Weidl was a two-time Frontier League Champion, a two-time regional Champion, and was a 2014 Kansas 4A State Champion.

Weidl will bring a philosophy to OU that wrestling is more than activity.

“Wrestling is a sport that teaches you all about life — it will give back everything you put into it and then some,” Weidl said. “Women's wrestling is becoming very popular, [and] the fact it is still very new provides a great opportunity to change a lot of futures. I can't wait to help continue growing wrestling at OU by building a program and culture women across the country want to come join.”