“It’s always nice to bring one of your own back home,” Wirnsberger said. “Tyler brings extraordinary competitive and coaching experience combined with a wealth of technical knowledge to our student-athletes. He will have a positive impact on our program because he understands the importance of academic excellence combined with what it is like to be a Division I wrestler.”
Smith, who graduated from Bucknell in 2018 ranked ninth in program history with 107 career victories, was the head wrestling coach at the United States Military Academy Preparatory School from 2019 to 2021. While at West Point Prep, he also served as the Director of the West Point Regional Training Center, working in tandem with the Army West Point coaching staff.
During the 2018-19 campaign, Smith was an assistant coach at the Virginia Military Institute. That season, Neal Richards was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler of the Southern Conference Championships after winning the 174-pound title; Richards also represented the Keydets at the NCAA Championships and was tabbed as the SoCon’s Wrestler of the Year.
As a Bison student-athlete, Smith worked as a camp counselor at the Bison System Wrestling Camps and the JRBOB Intensive Camps. He was also an active member of Bucknell Athletics Leadership Institute before his graduation with a bachelor’s degree in political science.
On the mat, Smith was the fifth Bison to qualify for the NCAA Championships all four years of his collegiate career and the 10th to reach the 100-victory plateau. He was a three-time EIWA placewinner at 141 pounds, taking second in 2018, third in 2015 and fourth in 2017. At the NCAA Championships, he finished one win away from earning All-America laurels in 2018 and 2017.
Smith’s name is peppered throughout the Bucknell record book. At the time of his graduation, he was ranked eighth in single-season dual wins (16, 2017-18), 11th in career winning percentage (.743), 11th in single-season wins (31, 2016-17) and 12th in single-season winning percentage (.829, 2017-18). As a senior, he put together the 11th undefeated dual season in school history with his 16-0 record; he concluded his collegiate dual career on a 26-bout winning streak.
Smith joins fellow Bucknell graduate Kevin LeValley, who will be inducted into the Bucknell Athletics Hall of Fame this fall, on Wirnsberger’s staff.
Original Source: Bucknell Athletics