Mandan High School athletic director Mark Wiest has hired a former Brave to fill his head wrestling coach vacancy. Last week, Wiest named Tyler Steinwand his new head coach. Steinwand has been an assistant for the Braves for the last five seasons. He is one of the best wrestlers in the storied history of the Mandan program, having won three North Dakota state championships and the Class A Mr. Wrestler award in 2007. Steinwand wrestled at the college level for both North Dakota State and Minnesota State University-Moorhead. He graduated from MSUM in 2012 and holds his MBA with an emphasis in HRM and Healthcare Administration, which he received in 2015 from the University of Mary while being the graduate assistant wrestling coach. He is currently employed as a Talent Strategist with Sanford Health.
Wiest said in a press release, “We’re excited to name Tyler Steinwand as our next head coach for the Mandan Braves wrestling program. Tyler has a tremendous amount of experience and has been a part of the Mandan wrestling program for many years. Tyler has a great relationship with all of our kids which will greatly benefit during the transition. Coach Steinwand will do a great job of continuing the strong tradition that has been built with the program and we’re confident he can take it to another level”
A key cog in Mandan’s recent success has been a strong Middle School program led by Taylor Hellman and Randy Ehlis, and that group will remain intact with the transition. Hellman is a full time instructor at Mandan Middle School and will continue the work he has done there. Ehlis is also staying on to help ease Steinwand’s transition. Last winter Mandan Middle had forty-two kids out for wrestling and finished third at the Junior High state tournament.
“I am grateful that Coaches Hellman and Ehlis are staying on at the Middle School. They have been instrumental in past Mandan success and together we have a great working relationship and understanding of our overall goals within the program,” Steinwand noted to NDwrestle.
For Steinwand, taking over a program that has had such a huge impact on his life is an honor.
“It means a lot to take over a program that has been important to me my whole life,” Steinwand said. “Especially when I think about how much wrestling has given me and the connections and opportunities it has created. I am extremely grateful to Mandan wrestling, North Dakota wrestling, and the sport in general and feel it is my responsibility to give back to the program and the sport that has provided so much for me. Hopefully I can help my athletes experience the same thing.”
Steinwand also has a strong relationship with outgoing head coach Luke Mellmer. The two worked closely together in the last five years and Steinwand is excited to keep the momentum rolling.
“Luke did a fantastic job here, and I want to keep the culture we’ve created going in the right direction,” Steinwand said. “I want to get even more guys training and competing in the summer, as I firmly believe that summer wrestling makes state champs.”
The Mandan Wrestling Club is an important factor in the above goals. The club has never been stronger, with a board of leaders focused on developing athletes from youth all the way through high school.
“We have all kinds of little kids still wanting to get into the room a few times a week even in the offseason,” Steinwand noted. “It is really a testament to the work that shareholders have done at Mandan Wrestling Club to keep enthusiasm and excitement for the sport going. If we can continue with that support and increase our retention numbers from youth into middle school, there is no limit to what this program can accomplish.”