Sept. 13, 2012
MADISON, Wis. - Two seasons removed from competing for the Badgers, former UW heavyweight and two-time NCAA qualifier Eric Bugenhagen will join the wrestling program for the 2012-13 season as a volunteer assistant coach, head coach Barry Davis announced Thursday.
"He's really developed as a coach," Davis said of Bugenhagen. "He understands the lifting part of wrestling but understands the technical part better.
"I think right now he's the right guy for the position and I'm looking forward to having him on board and in a more hands on role."
Davis also cited Bugenhagen's experience working with the team last season as a strength coach, and the work he put in with current Badgers' heavyweight Cole Tobin in getting him through the Big Ten tournament and qualifying for the NCAAs as indicators of his readiness to join the coaching staff.
Bugenhagen competed at Wisconsin from 2006 until 2011, starting at 184 lbs. in his sophomore season and at heavyweight in his junior and senior years, and compiled a career 56-55 record.
The Franklin, Wis., native put together his best campaign as a Badger as a senior in 2010-11 when he was ranked in the top-19 , as high as ninth, at heavyweight all season. Bugenhagen went 25-13 that year, including a first place finish at the Loras Open, fourth place at the Cliff Keen Invite and third place at the Big Ten Championships with a 5-1 record.
Bugenhagen twice competed at the NCAA Championships, qualifying for the 2010 and 2011 tournaments in Omaha, Neb., and Philadelphia, respectively. He had a career 2-4 record at the NCAAs.