Cloud County Athletics
CONCORDIA – Cloud County Community College Athletic Director Matt Bechard has announced the hiring of Julian Smith as the school’s third wrestling coach in the program’s five-year history.
Smith will take over a T-Bird program that is coming off their highest-ever finish at the NJCAA National Championships as Cloud County finished 11th and produced the program’s first national-champion in 197 pound wrestler Zach Ferris.
“Julian brings to the program an impressive collegiate wrestling background as well as successful collegiate coaching experience that will allow him to build upon the solid foundation that outgoing head coach Cody Cole has established” said Athletic Director Matt Bechard.
Having most recently coached as an assistant at Labette Community College from 2017-2020, Smith will take over as head coach for the first time in his career and brings with him three years as an assistant wrestling coach at the collegiate level as well as two years as a graduate assistant wrestling coach. While at Labette, Smith helped coach five NJCAA All-Americans while also having a direct role in the day-to-day operations which included the recruiting of student-athletes and budget management for the wrestling program.
Prior to serving as an assistant coach at Labette, Smith was a graduate assistant at Fort Hays State University where he helped the Tigers coach four NCAA Division II All-Americans and one NCAA Division II National Finalist. Smith would also help orchestrate practices during his time in Hays as well as assist with the coaching of student-athletes at tournaments and open meets.
A native of Florissant, Missouri, Smith attended Hazelwood Central High School where he posted an overall record of 110-17 which included a 45-1 mark as a senior. A two-time All-Conference selection and two-time Conference Wrestler of the Year, Smith would go on to attend McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois where he wrestled for four years.
In his first year with the Bearcats, Smith would post a 16-9 record before going on to become an NWCA National Champion and All-American in his sophomore year with an overall record of 33-6. Smith would then finish as NCAA Division II National Runner-Up at 197 pounds his junior year with a record of 42-8 and take home third-place at the NCAA Division II National Championships with a 38-5 overall record as a senior.
Smith graduated from McKendree University in 2015 while majoring in Physical Education and a minor in Sports Performance and Coaching and earned his Master’s Degree in Sports Administration from Fort Hays State University.