Photo of Andrew Nicola
Andrew Nicola

Athletics

Head Wrestling Coach

Andrew Nicola Athletics

Head Wrestling Coach

Alma Mater: Indiana University
Hometown: Fort Wayne, Ind. 

Most recently assistant wrestling coach at NCAA Division II California Baptist University, Andrew Nicola was named head wrestling coach at Concordia University on Oct. 7, 2016. Nicola became the third head coach since the program’s rebirth in 2009.

Nicola's first season in Seward brought the program more hardware as the Bulldogs captured GPAC dual and NAIA North Qualifier/GPAC tournament championships. As a result, Nicola earned GPAC and regional coach of the year awards. As part of the 2016-17 campaign, Concordia went a perfect 7-0 in GPAC duals and then placed 15th at the national championships. GPAC wrestler of the year Ceron Francisco (second) and Ken Burkhardt Jr. (sixth) earned All-America status.

Nicola, a native of Fort Wayne, Ind., previously coached as an assistant in the collegiate ranks since 2009. As a two-year member of head coach Lennie Zalesky’s staff at California Baptist, Nicola helped the Lancers reach heights that had been unprecedented for the program. The 2015-16 Cal Baptist squad won the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championship and then placed second in its region and sixth at the NCAA Division II National Championships, where four Lancers earned All-America awards. Heavyweight Joe Fagiano took home the program’s first ever NCAA title. In addition, CBU finished in the top 10 nationally in terms of grade point average during both of Nicola’s seasons spent in Riverside, Calif.

Prior to landing at CBU, Nicola made coaching stops at NAIA Cumberland University (Tenn.) and NCAA Division II University of Central Missouri. Additionally, he served two different Indiana high schools, Bloomington South and Culver Academies.

Cumberland also made big waves during Nicola’s two seasons as an assistant. The 2013-14 Bulldogs recorded the program’s highest-ever finishes at the NAIA National Championships (sixth), National Wrestling Coaches Association National Duals (third) and NWCA Academic All-American Team standings (fourth). Six Cumberland wrestlers found their way to the All-America stand at the 2014 national championships. One won a national title and another finished runner up.

Nicola has also coached on the international scene. He holds a USA Wrestling Silver Certification. He’s served on the Indiana National Team coaching staff for more than a decade. In 2013, Nicola traveled to Budapest, Hungary, for the World Championships while working as a Team USA Senior World Team Coaching Ambassador. He garnered 2012 Indiana Cadet/Junior Coach of the Year honors.

The Hoosier State native graduated from Indiana University in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in biology. He went on to complete a master’s degree in athletic and sport business administration in 2012 from Central Missouri. He also earned a master’s degree in education from Cumberland.

Bulldogs Under Coach Nicola


2016-17: 11-4 Overall, 7-0 GPAC (1st)

Total:  11-4 Overall, 7-0 GPAC (1 year)