Kevin Dresser enters his eighth season at the helm of the Virginia Tech wrestling program, a program that he has headed toward the upper echelon of the college game.
In six of his first seven seasons, he’s had a wrestler win an ACC title and four times has had a wrestler named Most Outstanding Wrestler at the ACC Championships. In 2007, it was Jon Bonilla-Bowman who won the ACC title at 157 pounds and, in 2009, Matt Epperly came out of nowhere to win the 165-pound class and advance to the NCAA Championships. In 2012, Pete Yates won the 165-pound title, pulling a major upset in the final to earn the honor and last year Jarrod Garnett earned the honor at 125 pounds after rolling through his bracket.
In the past two seasons, Tech’s stock has risen on the national scene. In 2011-12, six Tech wrestlers qualified for the NCAA Championships and the Hokies finished tied for 11th place. Devin Carter finished fifth at 133 pounds and Yates took fifth at 165 pounds as both earned All-America honors. Carter was also named the ACC’s Wrestler of the Year after the season. Last season was even better as the Hokies won their first ACC team title, all 10 wrestlers qualified for the NCAA Championships for the first time in program history, Tech finished 10th at NCAAs - the highest finish in program history at the national tournament - and a program-best four wrestlers were crowned All-Americans.
Dresser enters the 2013-14 season with a career dual meet record of 94-41. He’s coached six All-Americans and led Tech to an ACC team title. He was named ACC Coach of the Year in 2013 and has been named the state’s coach of the year three times (2011, 2012 & 2013) by the Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID).
In 2008-09, his team broke all sorts of school records, including dual meet wins (20) and NCAA qualifiers (8). Tech also had upset road wins against No. 17 Michigan and No. 6 Central Michigan. In 2009-10, he coached four ACC champions and helped lead Chris Diaz to an All-American finish at Nationals.
The 2010-11 year may have been the program’s finest dual meet teams as Dresser led the team to a runner-up finish at the prestigious NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals after upsets of Oklahoma State and Wisconsin. That propelled the Hokies’ into the national scene as they went on to finish sixth in the country in the dual meet poll. Three wrestlers won ACC titles and seven qualified for the NCAA Championships.
Dresser’s recruiting has taken off as the Hokies have had a top-25 recruiting class in each year Dresser’s been at the helm, including six classes rated in the top 11 nationally and the No. 2 class as ranked by InterMat for the 2013 recruiting class.
Dresser is a familiar name in the New River Valley as he was the head coach at Christiansburg High School for 10 seasons, winning the Group AA state title five times and claiming second place three times. Prior to his stint in Christiansburg, he led Grundy High School to eight titles in as many years.
A native of Humboldt, Iowa, Dresser was a two-time high school state champion at Humboldt High School. In 2009, Dresser was inducted into the Iowa High School Athletic Association Wrestling Hall of Fame. In 2013, Dresser was honored with the Lifetime Service award, given in recognition of years of dedication to the development of leadership and citizenship in the youth through wrestling, by the Virginia chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Dresser graduated from the University of Iowa, where he won a national title in 1986 at 142 pounds. He was a two-time All-American (placing fourth in 1985 at 142 pounds), as well as a two-time Big Ten champion. For his performance in 1986, he received the Mike Howard Award, given to the most valuable wrestler for the Hawkeyes.
Dresser earned his B.S. in general studies from Iowa in 1986. He and his wife, Penny, have three children: Emma (15), Anna (13) and Jack (11). Penny Dresser is a native of Blacksburg, and the family resides in Riner.