EIWA Hires New Executive Director

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EIWA Hires New Executive Director

Post by jdalu75 » Wed Aug 04, 2021 10:18 am

August 4, 2021
Forest, VA

The EIWA is pleased to announce the hiring of Gene M. Nighman as its new Executive Director. Nighman is a former EIWA champion and NCAA All-American, honors he achieved while wrestling at Cornell University for coach Andy Noel. He replaces Greg Strobel, who passed away suddenly last October.

Gene graduated from Cornell in 1981 and earned his MBA from Binghamton University in 1997. He retired from Cornell in 2017 after nearly 20 years as Director of Athletic Ticketing and 12 years directing the Summer Sports School, where he annually directed more than 30 camps for nearly 4,000 children. Gene has remained active in youth, high school, and club wrestling in central New York among his many pursuits.

Prior to Cornell he served as the head wrestling coach at SUNY-Cortland for 16 seasons, leading the Red Dragons to a 163-104-3 dual meet record and seven Top 20 finishes at the NCAA Division III Championships, topping out at 3rd in 1990. He coached 33 All-Americans, including two national champions. At SUNY-Cortland he also served as Assistant to the Athletics Director and Summer Sports School Coordinator.

Gene compiled a 78-19-1 record at Cornell, placing three times at the EIWA tournament. As a senior co-captain in 1981 he went 31-2, won the EIWA title and placed 7th at the NCAA tournament.

Gene was a volunteer assistant coach at Cornell for two years after his graduation, while he continued to compete in Freestyle and Greco-Roman. He was the Eastern Region Olympic Trials runner-up in Freestyle in 1984 and competed in the final U. S. Olympic Trials. In 1992 he was the Eastern Region Olympic Trials champion in Greco-Roman and again competed in the final U. S. Olympic Trials.

In 1990 Gene was voted the SUNYAC and NYS Collegiate Coach of the Year. In 1996 and again in 1999 he was voted the Empire Wrestling Conference Coach of the Year. He has been inducted into the New York College Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame and the Cornell University Athletics Hall of Fame.

Nighman is expected to hit the ground running, helping return the 2022 EIWA championship tournament to a campus setting at his alma mater, Cornell.

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