DURHAM, N.C.-Glen Lanham, a two-time All-American and a longtime assistant coach at some of the most prestigious wrestling programs in the country, has been named Duke's wrestling head coach Director of Athletics and Vice President Kevin White announced on April 16. Lanham most recently served as the Blue Devils assistant coach for two seasons.
"We are thrilled that Glen Lanham has graciously accepted our invitation to become the head wrestling coach at Duke," White said. "Glen brings outstanding experience, professionalism and principles to Duke Wrestling. Certainly, the young men representing our program will find Glen has tremendous leadership qualities, unlimited passion for the sport, and an uncompromising commitment to their total experience as student-athletes. It became very evident throughout the search process that all roads led back to Glen Lanham being an ideal fit for Duke Wrestling at this point in time."
In his two seasons with the Blue Devils, Lanham helped mentor Diego Bencomo and Tanner Hough to NCAA Championship berths in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Under Lanham's tutelage in the wrestling room, Bencomo earned 2011 All-ACC recognition after taking runner-up honors at the ACC Championships at 184 pounds. The Phoenix, Ariz., native registered a pair of wins in the NCAA Tournament, becoming just the second wrestler in Duke history to make it to the quarterfinal round.
"I'd like to thank Kevin White and everyone here at Duke University for their support as I begin this next chapter of Duke wrestling." Lanham said. I'm very excited to lead the Duke wrestling program. Becoming a head coach has been a long process in the making and I feel right now that Duke University is a perfect fit for me as a coach. We have a very talented and amazing group of young men and I am thrilled for the opportunity to guide them on and off the mat. The Duke wrestling program has great potential and I look forward to a bright future for the Blue Devils."
With the help of Lanham in 2012, Hough became the second Duke true freshman to earn a bid to the NCAA Championships after taking fourth at the ACC Championships at 141 pounds. Hough finished his rookie campaign with a 23-13 overall record.
Lanham joined the Duke coaching staff as an assistant in June of 2010 after stints as an assistant coach at Oklahoma State, North Carolina and Purdue. Prior to arriving in Durham, he spent three seasons at Purdue where he spearheaded the Boilermakers' recruiting efforts.
At Purdue, Lanham had an immediate impact on the program, helping several Boilermakers to breakout seasons. He mentored a selection of student-athletes to the NCAA Championships during his three seasons and under his watch Luke Manuel earned three bids to the NCAA postseason and climbed to as high as fifth nationally at 174 pounds.
The Boilermakers' two recruiting classes under Lanham garnered a wealth of national honors, including the nation's No. 12 class from InterMat.com in 2008. It marked the second straight top-20 national recruiting class for the Boilermakers as they reeled in three of the nation's top-100 recruits, including a pair of 2009 USA Wrestling Junior national champions.
Prior to his three years at Purdue, the former Oklahoma State competitor coached at the University of North Carolina for four years. With the Tar Heels, Lanham also worked closely with the middle to upper weight classes and headed their recruiting efforts.
In his time in Chapel Hill, Lanham tutored four ACC Champions and nine NCAA Championships qualifiers. He also went to great lengths to improve the Tar Heels' program, bringing in an Intermat Wrestling Top-25 recruiting class in 2006-07.
Lanham worked as a high school teacher and wrestling coach in Oklahoma from 1991-2003. He was at Midwest City High School for seven years, where he mentored several state champions and sent them on to prestigious college programs. While at Midwest City, he also volunteered his time at Oklahoma University, coaching several All-Americans.
Lanham served as a graduate assistant at Oklahoma State University from 1988-1991, helping the Cowboys to a pair of NCAA Championships. As a college competitor, he garnered All-American honors at both OSU and the University of Tennessee, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in human service with an emphasis in juvenile counseling in August of 1988. He competed internationally as a member of the Sunkist Kids team and was freestyle wrestling All-American.
Lanham resides in Pittsboro, N.C., with his wife Melanie.
What They Are Saying about Glen Lanham
"Glenn has always had high integrity with an infectious personality that keeps people engaged, especially young people. From the moment I met Glenn I realized his walk in life was based on circumstances that would guide him in life. I remember when he came on his recruiting visit to the University of Tennessee we were so enamored with this kid that we were a bit sad he was leaving. However, his flight was scheduled at 7 a.m. and he was taken to the airport at 7 p.m. and thus allowing him to spend another night at UT. We were so delighted and that was sign for me that we was coming to UT for the exact same thing happened to me. Glenn involved me in his decision to come to Duke as an assistant and after weighing the pros and cons we decided that this was another positive circumstance that he must follow...and he did. So we believe this is more than just filling a coaching vacancy. It is destiny for Duke University and Glenn."
Tony Mills - University of Tennessee teammate
"Glen is a great leader and has had a positive impact in the lives student-athletes for many years. He has a wealth of knowledge competing for two of our sports legends - Gray Simons at Tennessee and John Smith of Oklahoma State. His strong integrity and family values make him a perfect fit at Duke. He will bring great pride to the program."
Tom Ryan - Ohio State University Wrestling Head Coach
"I am so excited for Glen and this opportunity to lead the Duke wrestling team. He knows what it takes on all levels to be successful on the mat, in the classroom, and most important of all in life. I am so grateful that I had the chance to coach with him during his time at Purdue. I learned so many valuable lessons from him that I have been able to apply in my daily grind. Glen will set the academic and wrestling standards high for each and every student-athlete he interacts with each and every second of the day he is their coach. Duke University made an outstanding choice in selecting Glen Lanham as their next coach."
Scott Hinkel - University of Purdue Wrestling Head Coach
"I think it is a great hire. I think it is an intelligent hire for Duke University. Glen is a tireless worker. He has competed and coached at every level. I think he'll do an outstanding job as the head coach at Duke. I know he has goals and aspirations to take Duke to a place that it hasn't gotten in its wrestling program. I'm 100 percent confident that the administration and university have hired the right man for the job and I wish nothing but the best for Glen, a great friend of mine I've known for over 20 years. "
Kevin Jackson - Iowa State University Wrestling Head Coach
"This is very exciting for Glen and I know it is a dream come true for him. I've known Glen for 25 years, and I've known people who work hard, but I've never met someone who is so consistent with his character. He has always had his priorities straight and he puts the person first at all times. He's a great leader of men. He's a tireless worker and I think Duke has the right man for the job."
Kenny Monday - Olympic Gold Medalist Coach
"Glen and I had been best of friends from as far back as the seventh grade when we both not only wrestled but also played junior high lacrosse together. Glen, through all our school years was always the top athlete whether it was football, lacrosse or wrestling, bearing the captain title for his leadership skills. Glen is a extraordinary human being and the real winner here is Duke University. The dedication, discipline and respect Glen brings not only to the University but to his athletes will last them a lifetime. His past athletes whom have either graduated from [North Carolina] Hill or Purdue University and are pursuing their professional continue still call upon Glen for his guidance and leadership or just for a positive hello chat. This includes myself on many,many occasions. As I have said earlier Duke University is the true winner here. They have hired an extraordinary human being who will professionally represent Duke University beyond the institution's expectations."
Bill Fries - High school teammate