Director of the Mens and Womens wrestling teams for Brewton Parker College, Coach Devane Dodgens is a young coach building a solid team with a system and methodology built on a strong foundation of learning from some of the best coaches in the sport and experience. He comes to us with coaching experience from 3 top 10 NAIA programs and is building a strong program in BPC. We are excited to have him over. Our interview with him is below.
After a competitive career with being a 2x AA you jumped right into the coaching, can you give us a breakdown of your experience after graduating and the lead up to BPC Director.
Coach D – My experience jumping straight into coaching was a fantastic one and set me up to be a great coach. I got to work under 3 college head coaches and did my time before taking a head coaching job. I worked under Jeff Bedard who is the Reinhardt men’s head coach ( they are 4x conference champs and qualified all 12 wrestlers to the national tournament the last 2 years, along with finishing in the top 15 of NAIA. Coach B taught me a lot about being confident in what I was teaching and getting to know the people that you are coaching better. Next, I got to learn under Jameel Bryant who is the head coach at Lindsey Wilson College. They are also a top 10 NAIA program and before Jameel got there he had help coach SEU to their best finish at nationals with 2 national champs. I learned that you can be fun and work hard at the same time under Bryant. I also learned everything about hand fighting and head outsides shots from him. Then I got to coach under the great Omi Acosta. (NAIA national champs and was voted coach of the year recently, funny side note I was his first All-American when I was actually good at wrestling !) Coach O reached you how to motivate someone to literally run through walls for you. He believes in setting the right structure and organization. The #LUCHA lifestyle isn’t just a phase, it’s a lifestyle and Omi truly believes in living it and passing it along to everyone he works with. Lastly, Nate Ethridge was someone I got to train and work under. I was a 2x state champ for him in high school. A lot like Coach Omi coach Ethridge cares more about just being a wrestler. He wants whoever he works with to be accountable and to grow in their personal lives. The amount of time and technique he puts into each and every person he works with motivates me daily to continue to do better and do more. taking my time and learning under these guys before I went to be a head coach is something I wouldn’t trade for the world.
Now going into what is I believe your 3rd year at BPC and 1st year as Director of both the mens at the women’s programs, what can you tell us about what to expect for the coming years?
Coach D – Our guys team is in great hands under Coach Kenny Mason and I fully am expecting them back in the top 20 this year in terms of wrestling. I also am expecting them to compete in the duals and finish in the top 6. I think with the young guys we have it is very doable. From there I would like coach Kenny to keep building and instilling the culture that he thinks is necessary. I expect us in the top 10 by 2022-2023 in terms of grades and wrestling. I expect us to be one of the three great college men’s teams in Georgia. i.e Us, Reinhardt, and Life !!
And for our Ladies program, the time to use the “we are a young team” as an excuse is over. I expect 3/4 of my team to be academic all Americans and I fully expect us to finish in the top 10 this year. We have all the tools here with coach Cruz, Emily, and Jonchuck working closely with both programs so there are no excuses. My hope is to place ladies at UWW, U23, and have some national champs/ all Americans this year. We already got off to a good start but we need to do better and keep growing on and off the mat. My hope is to build a dynasty where young ladies from all over (especially Florida) can come and get an education all the while competing with the nation’s best and growing as people.
Along with coaching are you also looking for a run on the senior circuit?
Coach D – I am actually even if it’s just competing. The biggest drawback that coaches like coach Sword from life have is that they have competed in the main event. That experience alone is so useful in coaching and I just have not been able to get that yet. But I do have plans to make a run when the circuit restarts at the end of this year.
We are looking forward to having you over, what can you tell us about what you have lined up for us October 10th?
Coach D – I have our men’s coach coming down along with some of the ladies and men. We plan on showing a different viewpoint on hand fighting, drills, and of course getting live wrestling in. We are basically going to try to take these young men and women through a college-level warm-up, drill, and get some matches in, so they know what they are expecting when they get to the next level.
Coach, where can student athletes who are interested in Brewton Parker being their next step reach you guys or get more info?
Women’s Head Coach and Wrestling Director
Men’s Head Coach
BPC visitation- If times or dates don’t work please reach out to coaches
BPC Visit Page
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