July 23, 2016

Partly sunny

College wrestling: Fechko to coach at Dakota Wesleyan

It took coming home for Boomer Fechko to realize exactly where home was.

The 2005 Brunswick graduate has been a nomad of sorts in the coaching world, having had a head coaching stint at Quincy (Calif.) High School and assistant coaching jobs at Dakota Wesleyan, Bloomsburg (Pa.) University and back home at Brunswick.

Back with the Blue Devils this season, Fechko realized South Dakota was where his heart was, so when the head coaching job at Dakota Wesleyan opened, he jumped and is taking over the program this morning.

He will replace Matt Sedivy, who recommended him for the job upon stepping down.

“I’ve moved so many times,” Fechko said. “I’ve lived in four states in five years. When (John) Stutzman left Bloomsburg (last year), I had a chance to go to New York and I said, ‘No, I’m going home. I’m going to settle down somewhere.’

“When I came home, there wasn’t anything for me, really. It took coming back home to make me realize I wanted to get back into college coaching.

“There was no doubt in my mind, that’s what I wanted. I planned on looking for a job right after the season, but Matt was leaving and he recommended me. The AD called me and asked if I would be interested. After thinking about it, being 27 years old, to be head coach of a college, it was hard to pass up.”

Fechko was a graduate assistant at Dakota Wesleyan from 2010-12 under Sedivy. While there, he helped coach 15 wrestlers who qualified for the NAIA National Championships, including one NAIA All-American.

In Fechko’s second year, five Tigers were named All-Great Plains Athletic Conference, including freshman Trever DeVestern. DeVestern will be a senior in the fall and is now a two-time All-American. All-GPAC honorable mention selection Kyle Gerlach will also be back.

The Tigers finished 2013-14, with a 9-7 mark. The nine wins were the most in a season since 1968-69, so it’s not like Fechko is coming into a program on the decline.

“I think it’s going to be easier for me than if I wasn’t there before,” Fechko said. “I know what I’m getting myself into, so there shouldn’t be any surprises. I know what I can control and what I can’t control.

“That is an advantage going in. I can’t wait to work with Trever. He just took fourth (at nationals) last weekend after being seventh. To coach a two-time All-American, that’s huge.”

Contact Brad Bournival at sports@medina-gazette.com.