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Saturday, May 25, 2024
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Donnie Vinson hired as next wrestling head coach after John Stutzman’s ouster

Vinson spent the last three seasons as an associate coach at Cornell University

<p>Vinson will replace former head coach John Stutzman, who was removed at the end of last season.&nbsp;</p>

Vinson will replace former head coach John Stutzman, who was removed at the end of last season. 

Donnie Vinson, an associate coach at Cornell University, will be the 16th head coach of UB’s wrestling team, UB Athletics announced Sunday. 

Vinson will replace former head coach John Stutzman, who was removed at the end of last season. 

“Donnie comes to UB with exceptional credentials and has a proven background that has over-prepared him to be highly successful in this role,” UB Athletic Director Mark Alnutt said in a statement. “His relentless energy will be infectious as he recruits and develops student-athletes who will achieve at the highest level, both in the classroom and on the mat.”

Vinson comes to UB after three seasons as an associate coach at Cornell. During his tenure, Cornell won three straight IVY League and EIWA team titles, and went on to finish seventh, third and second in the NCAA championships. Vinson also helped coach four-time national champion Yianni Diakomihalis and two-time national champion Vito Arujau. 

Prior to his stint with the Big Red,Vinson served as an assistant coach at North Carolina State. During his four seasons there, the Wolfpack won the ACC team title four years in a row and went 52-6 in dual meets. 

“I am honored to be a part of the UB family,” Vinson said in a statement. “I look forward to guiding our athletes to reach their full potential both on and off the mat. I am eager to work with our athletes, staff, alumni and community to achieve our goals together.”

Vinson’s hiring comes fewer than four weeks after Athletics announced it was parting ways with Stutzman after 11 years. In his time as coach, Stutzman led the Bulls to finish second in the MAC championships in 2019, was named MAC coach of the year and racked up more than 150 wins

The move prompted at least 14 of UB’s wrestlers — nearly half the team — to enter the transfer portal, including at least three freshmen and NCAA championship contenders Nick Stampoulos and Sam Mitchell. 

Five wrestlers told The Spectrum that they don’t trust UB Athletics. They believe administrators want to see the program “killed.”

The reasons for Stutzman’s departure remain unclear. Alnutt simply said in a statement that the program needed a “fresh start” and declined to elaborate in an interview with The Spectrum. Stutzman has not returned The Spectrum’s requests for comment. 

Vinson will hold a press conference with UB Athletics on Monday. 

Grant Ashley is the editor in chief and can be reached at grant.ashley@ubspectrum.com  


GRANT ASHLEY
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Grant Ashley is the editor in chief of The Spectrum. He's also reported for NPR, WBFO, WIVB and The Buffalo News. He enjoys taking long bike rides, baking with his parents’ ingredients and recreating Bob Ross paintings in crayon. He can be found on the platform formerly known as Twitter at @Grantrashley. 

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