Kansas Wesleyan Wrestling coach Matt Oney has resigned his position at Kansas Wesleyan to take a similar position at his alma mater, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Worchester, Mass., according to KWU director of athletics Mike Hermann.
In two seasons, Oney established a strong culture in the wrestling program at Kansas Wesleyan. He served as the program’s coach in its first two seasons of competitive wrestling.
In 2017-18, Oney saw two grapplers earn berths in the NAIA National Championships. Taylor Moeder (JR/Shawnee, Kan.) won the KCAC Championship at 141 pounds and Tanner O’Donnell (SR/Salina, Kan.) won the 184 pound bracket in the KCAC Championships to advance to the NAIA National Championships. Moeder was named the KCAC Most Outstanding Wrestler, the second season a KWU mat-man has earned that title. Moeder reached the National Semifinals, eventually finishing in fourth earning KWU’s first-ever NAIA Wrestling All-American honor, finishing with a 30-3 record. O’Donnell would also earn a spot on the NWCA NAIA All-Academic Team. On November 29, 2017, the wrestling program picked up its first-ever dual match victory, defeating conference foe Ottawa 26-24.
In 2016-17, Oney coached the Coyotes in the program’s first full season of competition. The Coyotes finished third in the first-ever KCAC Wrestling Invitational hosted by KWU on February 4. Oney was selected as the KCAC Coach of the Year. Ty Wilson, Stefan Johnson, Tanner O’Donnell all picked up first place finishes in their weight classes. O’Donnell was selected as the KCAC Most Outstanding Wrestler at the event. Ty Wilson became KWU’s first-ever NAIA National Championship Qualifier, finishing second in the 157-pound weight class at the NAIA Regional Qualifier.
“I appreciate Matt’s good work building a foundation for our program,” Hermann said. “He’s recruited outstanding men to be the first Coyote wrestlers. We are sad for Matt and Kim to be leaving our community, but understand the emotional connection of one’s alma mater.”
Prior to KWU, Oney spent two seasons as an assistant at Wayland Baptist (Texas), helped the Pioneer women finish eighth in the WCWA (Women’s College Wrestling Association) with four All-Americans and one Daktronics NAIA Scholar-Athlete and the team was recognized as a scholar team. The Wayland men finished 11th at the NAIA National Championships with five NAIA All-Americans and one scholar athlete.
Oney also has coached with USA Wrestling, coaching the elite US wrestlers that includes four Cadet PanAmerican Championships and one junior and one senior world championship. He also coached Team Hawaii, the all-star team that represents the state in national competitions. He is a USAW Gold Certified coach.
Oney taught math and coached wrestling for 21 years at Punahou School in Honolulu, Hawaii, coaching nine state championship teams, including a six-year run by the boys and a three-year run by the girls. He coached nearly 40 state champions and earned a combined 33 folkstyle All-American awards with five National Champions, 15 Fargo All-Americans with two National Champions and 20 NHSCA Academic All-Americans including the first-ever high school female to be recognized as such.
Oney wrestled collegiately at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, helping the team to a 59-6 record and a No. 15 national ranking during his time. He was a four-time letterwinner and team captain in his senior season. He was twice named to the NECCWA All-New England team and was a two-time NCAA Division III Scholar All-American. He is a member of the WPI Wrestling Ring of Honor. He holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from WPI.
A national search for Oney’s replacement will be conducted.