Manchester University
Oak Leaves

February 12, 2016


Coach Kevin Lake

Coach Lake Brings Flavor to MU Wrestling

Guerby Ruuska

It’s a fight with rules with a little art thrown into it; that’s how head coach Kevin Lake describes the sport of wrestling that he loves so very much.

Lake took ownership of the Spartan Wrestling in October 2015 and has lifted the program off the ground since his arrival, but this is not Lake’s first time stepping foot inside the PERC on MU grounds.

“What brought me back to Manchester was the fact that I have been here before and that I wrestled here,” he said. “Manchester just means so much to me because I was an athlete here. It means a lot to my family: my father went here, and my sister went here, so my Manchester roosts are pretty deep.”

Lake brings his own flavor to Spartan wrestling; indeed, one of the biggest things his wrestlers can take away from his coaching is the ability to be successful not just on the mats but within the classroom as well. It’s a standard that Lake has created for his athletes: he wants them to help build a culture of excellence at Manchester.

Lake had a successful career wrestling collegiately for the Spartans before he graduated in May 1998. He went on to earn a MA in Sport Administration from Central Michigan University in December 2004, but always thought of Manchester as home.

“To have the opportunity to come back to your alma-mater and lead the program you were a part of is just a really special opportunity,” he said.

It has been a season full of ups and downs for the Spartans, but Lake has seen a lot more good moments than bad. “The hardest part is the half way point because everyone is tired,” said Raekwon Gathright (South Bend, Ind.), a first-year athletic training major. “If you ask any of the wrestlers they will say coach Lake has made us all better. We all have an aspect of wrestling.”

One of Lake’s most memorable moments was how senior heavyweight Dustin Kult stepped up as a leader after announcing that he would not return to the mats for his final season after a football-related injury.

“It takes a pretty special person to do that,” Lake said. “One thing I will remember this year is Dustin, and what he has done for this team.”

Gathright thinks that Lake has got the wrestling program off to a good start. “He knows what to expect from his athletes,” he said. “Coach pushes us all to work harder. In the sport of wrestling you will always be uncomfortable, and He has taught us to stay strong and to learn with being uncomfortable because in wrestling you always will be that way.”