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Castro Named D1CW Regional Coach of the Year
Jesse Castro, who has led Liberty's wrestling program to three-straight NCAA East Regional Championships, has been named the 2009 D1CW East Region Coach of the Year, as announced by the wrestling web site late yesterday.
The honor, handed out by D1collegewrestling.net, is the second-straight for Castro, as he was also tabbed the wrestling web site's annual East Region Coach of the Year last season.
Castro was one of 11 NCAA wrestling coaches honored, as a coach from each wrestling conference was crowned, while a coach from the East and West Region was honored, as well.
Castro just recently completed his third year at the helm of Liberty's rising wrestling program. Liberty finished the 2008-09 campaign with a 12-9-1 mark, the second-highest win total under the head coach. During his inaugural season at the helm of the program, Castro led the Flames to a 16-8 record in their first time on the mat since the 1993-94 campaign.
All three years Castro has guided the program, Liberty has captured the crown at the NCAA East Regional Championship. This year, Liberty did so with a 36.5 point victory over second-place Millersville at the event hosted by Gardner-Webb in Boiling Springs, N.C., on March 7.
Four grapplers laid claim to individual titles that afternoon, while three others captured consolidation victor's status at the annual tournament.
The four title holders earned automatic berths into the 2009 NCAA National Wrestling Championship in St. Louis, Mo., giving Liberty 14 national qualifiers under Castro's tutelage.
Since taking over the program, only 28 other NCAA programs have sent more grapplers to the national championship, leaving Liberty ahead of such wrestling programs as Maryland, Purdue, Stanford, Virginia and Arizona State during the three-year time frame.
The honor is the fourth such coaching accolade collected by Castro over the past three years. Castro was named the NCAA East Regional Coach of the Year by his peers in 2007 and 2008, to go along with his pair of coaching honors previously mentioned from the D1collegwrestling.net web site.