Drew Black enters his 22nd year at the helm of Wesleyan wrestling and as an associate professor of physical education in 2019-20. Drew also serves as head strength and conditioning coach, as well as fitness center coordinator at the college. He is certified through both the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and USA Weightlifting as a Level I club coach.
The 2017-18 season proved to be another historic and memorable one in Wesleyan wrestling history. Wesleyan finished 18th in the country at the NCAA Championships led by two All-Americans in third-place finisher Isaiah Bellamy ’18 at 285 and eighth-place finisher Devon Carrillo ’17 GR ’19 at 197. In addition, Isaiah Bellamy finished as the No. 1 pinner in the country receiving the NCAA “Most Falls” award at the championships with 24 pins of his 38-3 record. Teammate Devon Carrillo finished third in the country in pins with 21 of his 37-5 overall record. This is Wesleyan’s second-ever pins leader in the country as Nick Scotto ‘13 achieved this in 2013. Isaiah Bellamy finished fifth in the NCAA for the “Most Dominant Wrestler Award” as well. The team also placed third at the NCAA Northeast Regional Championships with six regional placers, three NCAA qualifiers, six Scholar All-Americans, and another winning dual season at 12-7 defeating numerous top 20 teams.
The 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons were also two of the most memorable in Wesleyan wrestling history as the Cardinals hosted and won the 2012 New England Wrestling Association (NEWA) Championship, which was Wesleyan's second team championship with the first one attained in 1984. It was also the second time in school history that Wesleyan sent four individuals to the NCAA Championships with Jefferson Ajayi '13 coming home as an All-American, placing seventh at 184 lbs. The team won the NEWA Championship with eight conference placers including five finalists and three champions. In 2012-13, the Cardinals set historic marks by placing sixth at the NCAA Division III National Duals, defeating two top-10 teams in No. 7 Olivet and No. 9 Ithaca. Wesleyan became only the second New England team in the history of the event to place at the National Duals. The national dual victories catapulted Wesleyan to a historic ranking of 10th in the nation for Division III Wrestling. The team finished 11th in the nation for the regular dual season. The program finished 15-7 for the third most wins in Wesleyan history with all seven losses coming at the hands of top-10 teams in the nation.
Drew also coached six wrestlers to 100+ win careers, most recently, Isaiah Bellamy who finished at 105-27. Isaiah is arguably the best wrestler to graduate at Wesleyan with his highest finish at the NCAA Championships (3rd), his NCAA Falls Award, and his 105 wins. Three other 100+ winners graduated in 2013 -- Howard Tobochnik ‘13 at 149 lb. (119-45); Jefferson Ajayi ‘13 at 184 lb. (106-31); and Kyle Roosa ‘13 at 174 lb. (108-38). The other two 100-win competitors came in 2010 with Dan Bloom at 111-32 and Greg Hurd at 103-29. Howard Tobochnik ’13 is the winningest wrestler in Wesleyan history at 119 wins. In addition, Drew also coached Nick Scotto ’13 at 141 lbs., who led the nation with the most pins in all NCAA Divisions (I, II, and III) in 2012-13 with 21 pins. Scotto had 21 pins out of his 33 wins.
During his tenure at Wesleyan, Drew received the NEWA Coach of the Year in 2012 and 2010. In addition, Drew led the team to its winningest finishes in school history with a 17-2 mark in 2001-02, the most wins in a season at the college, and a 16-3-1 record in 2010-11, the second-highest number of victories ever in a season. Included in 2010-11 was a school-record 11-match win streak. No previous squad had captured more than eight in a row. The Cardinals were in the national rankings for four consecutive seasons (2009-13), finishing 11th, 29th, 29th, and 26th for the regular dual season, respectively. In addition, with the 16 dual victories in the 2010-11 season, Drew became the winningest wrestling coach in Wesleyan history and now has 209 career victories over his 21 seasons. The Cardinals finished third in the NEWA Championships with seven conference place winners in both 2010 and 2011 before vaulting to the top spot in 2012. The team has had 14 winning seasons over the past 19 years with a 198-146-3 cumulative mark over that span. Wesleyan has been represented in the NCAA Division III Tournament 12 of the last 14 years, most recently sending Zach Murillo '19 in 2019 and Isaiah Bellamy ’18, Devon Carrillo '17, GR ‘19 (three-time NCAA Qualifier) and Dominic Pirraglia ‘18 in 2018.
Year in and year out, the Wesleyan wrestling team competes nationally for wrestling and academic recognition. The team has earned team scholar All-America status in 17 of the last 18 years (all but 2003), most recently finishing 3rd in the country with a 3.714 team GPA. Wesleyan had finished fourth in the nation for three straight years (2010, 2011, 2012).
Before coming to Wesleyan, Drew was the head wrestling coach, fitness center coordinator and strength and conditioning coach at Phoenix College (Ariz.) from 1995-1998. There he directed his squad to a No. 6 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCCA) ranking and an 11-3 dual-match record in 1997-98. One of his grapplers won a national title, while another finished third.
A 1992 graduate of Syracuse University who went on to earn his Master's degree at Kent State University in 1994, Drew took over as head wrestling coach and strength and conditioning coach at Wesleyan in 1998-99. A four-year varsity wrestler for the Orangemen and a team co-captain as a senior, Drew was a two-time runner-up at the N.Y. state collegiate wrestling championships, a seventh-place finisher at the 1991 Midlands Tournament and a fifth-place finisher in the E.I.W.A. Tournament in 1992.
Prior to enrolling at Syracuse, Drew was a 1987 state champion at 108 pounds while a senior at Mahwah (N.J.) High School. He also placed third in the state his junior year.
Drew is looking to have a nationally recognized, consistently winning program by attracting quality student-athletes from around the country who have a strong commitment to both academics and wrestling.
Drew and his wife, Jennifer, reside in Cheshire with their two children, son Sean (20), and daughter Leah (15).