Andrew Vogel ’03, an engineering graduate and a former Messiah wrestler, had a change of plans after graduation. “I worked for a little bit as an electrical engineer, but I missed the sport too much to stay away,” said Vogel. “I was fortunate to be able to change careers and become a wrestling coach.”
Vogel joined Gettysburg College as head wrestling coach in 2007. Since then, he has coached three All-Americans, eight national qualifiers, six Centennial Conference champions and two conference Most Outstanding Performers.
Promoted to assistant athletic director in 2010, Vogel says he has noticed a trend at smaller Division III schools lately: offering more sports to recruit more students.
“A lot of schools are focusing on adding new sports that they did not have before,” he explained. “This is helping admissions and providing new students who would not have attended the college before. It is growing schools.”
The increasing numbers of student athletes provide more work for Vogel as assistant athletic director. Each day, he plans his practices while simultaneously coordinating with the athletic director in planning, setting up and executing athletic events.
“What makes being the head wrestling coach so enjoyable is the student athletes,” said Vogel. “I enjoy constantly working with them to help them improve as young men. Our goal is to have them leave as men prepared to make a difference in society.”
Vogel says developing better athletes with brighter futures is something he learned from Messiah College’s former wrestling coach, Neil Turner.
“Coach Turner was the type of coach who demanded excellence of his guys. He really showed me how impactful being a coach can be, and he is part of the reason why I wanted to coach,” Vogel said.
As an athlete-turned-coach, Vogel has followed in Turner’s footsteps.
“Andy has a passion to learn and master the art of wrestling. He was and is a model for what athletes should do, and his competitive nature is what developed his program’s success,” said Turner.