Cloud County wrestling coach leaving for post in Kentucky

Cloud County Athletics
David Wilson, Sports Information Director

CONCORDIA — Cloud County Community College announced on Tuesday that Chris Freije will be stepping down as Head Coach for the wrestling program, effective Dec. 15, to accept the same position at Kentucky Wesleyan College, a first-year NCAA Division II program.

“While we are sad to see Chris go, we know that the opportunity to coach at the next level was one he couldn’t pass up,” said Cloud County Community College Athletic Director, Matt Bechard. “Chris came to Cloud with major wrestling credentials, capable of coaching at a higher level, and we were lucky he chose us. He has done a fantastic job recruiting and building our wrestling program, and will be leaving it in the very capable hands of his assistant, Cody Cole.”

Freije, who came to Concordia after coaching in Columbia, Ky., was a former NCAA Division II wrestler at Western State Colorado University. He also spent time as an assistant in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) at Western State (2010) and Colorado Mesa University (2010-2014).

In a written statement, Freije said he will draw from his experience over the past year at Cloud County as he takes on the challenge of molding another first-year program.

“Kentucky Wesleyan has offered me a huge opportunity, and while sometimes difficult, unfortunately an opportunity isn’t always ideal in its timing,” Freije said. “It was a difficult decision for me to leave, but, I feel I am leaving this team and this program in great shape for Cody to step in and immediately begin building on the foundation I’ve laid.”

He expressed gratitude to the Concordia community, Cloud County Community College employees, and pledged his support of new interim head coach, Cody Cole.

Cole is a native of Brush, Colo. He came to Concordia after spending three years as a high school coach in the Greeley, Colo., area at University High School (2014-16) and Platte Valley High School (2016-17).

Cole was hired on May 30, 2017 and resides in Concordia with his wife Nikki and their children, Easton (2-years-old) and 4-month-old Evan.

He said he is excited for the opportunity to take the reigns of a T-Bird program that has already shown through the first two tournaments of the season that it can compete on the regional and national stage.

“To the parents and families of the current wrestlers, your sons will be in great hands,” said Freije, referring to Cole. “There are great things on the horizon for this team, this athletic department, and this school. Thank you for your commitment to me, and for driving the Thunderbird Wrestling vision.”

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