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Thursday, May 30, 2024
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UB introduces Donnie Vinson as new wrestling head coach

Vinson will be the 16th head coach in program history

<p>UB Athletics introduced new wrestling head coach Donnie Vinson at a press conference Monday.</p>

UB Athletics introduced new wrestling head coach Donnie Vinson at a press conference Monday.

UB introduced Donnie Vinson as the new wrestling head coach in a press conference on Monday at the Bull Pen Club in Alumni Arena. 

The move comes three weeks after former head coach John Stutzman’s exit. 

Before coming to UB, Vinson spent three years with Cornell University as an associate head coach, where he helped develop four national champions, 10 All-Americans, and 12 Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) champions. Prior to his time at Cornell, Vinson was an assistant coach for North Carolina State University for four seasons. 

Vinson started his career as a volunteer assistant with Binghamton in 2013 and this will be his first head coaching job.

“Don is overprepared to be the head coach, which I’m excited about,” Athletic Director Mark Alnutt said in a statement during the press conference. “Coach [Vinson] wants to be here at Buffalo, and that was apparently evident when I offered him the position last year, I’m sorry, last week.”

The New York native and former Binghamton wrestler provided his outlook for the team, and spoke about restoring UB’s status as a wrestling powerhouse. Vinson talked about how his background will influence his recruiting. 

“UB is the flagship institution in New York, so I plan on making the wrestling program equivalent to that,” Vinson said. “I’m excited to continually recruit within New York state. I’ve got a lot of state pride, and I’m excited to retain that talent. I just really want [UB] to be the New York state wrestling institution.”

Although Vinson is an experienced coach, his new position at UB will be his first taste of the Mid-American Conference. 

“I’ve seen the uptick in competition,” he said. “With the new landscape that's changing within the MAC, that gives us a ton of opportunity to go and make these jumps rather quickly, and that's what I'm going to take advantage of.”

Vinson acknowledged that he will have to rebuild the roster, as Buffalo had 14 wrestlers enter the transfer portal following the departure of Stutzman. 

“Hopefully, my presence is going to settle those nerves a good bit,” Vinson said. “I just had my first conversation with the team, and that was fairly well-received. I want them to buy into what I’m preaching. I don’t want anyone to sign on the dotted line if there’s not 100% commitment.” 

Despite the potential roster turnover and period of transition, Vinson has a positive vision moving forward.

“The future is going to be bright,” he said. “We’re going to be up in the upper echelon here shortly.”

Henry Daley is an assistant sports editor and can be reached at henry.daley@ubspectrum.com  

Rodrigo Feijão is an assistant sports editor and can be reached at rodrigo.feijao@ubspectrum.com


HENRY DALEY
henry-daley.jpg

Henry Daley is an assistant sports editor at The Spectrum. His work has featured on other platforms such as Medium and Last Word on Sports. Outside of the newspaper, he enjoys running and watching sports (when he’s not writing about them). 

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