LEXINGTON, Va. – With classes underway this week and ongoing preparation for the 2018-19 season, VMI head wrestling coach Jim Gibson completed his staff by naming Tyler Smith as an assistant coach Thursday morning.
Smith comes to the Institute following a stellar wrestling career at Bucknell University where he was a two-time NCAA Round of 12 finisher and three-time EIWA Conference place winner, including a second-place finish in 2018. He totaled 109 career victories while donning a Bison singlet and placed third at the prestigious Midlands Tournament as a senior.
“Tyler has a passion for the sport of wrestling that is unmatched,” Gibson said. “Along with this passion, he brings tremendous success from every level of wrestling that he has competed. I’m looking forward to see him develop as a coach and instill that same passion into our wrestlers.”
A 2013 Pennsylvania state champion in high school, Smith was named a team captain at Bucknell his senior year and qualified for the NCAA Tournament all four years as a Bison as a 141-pounder. He ranks ninth all-time at Bucknell for career victories with 107 and ranks 11th in career winning percentage (.743).
A three-time EIWA placewinner, Smith is tied for eighth in the Bucknell wrestling annals in single season dual wins (16 in 2017-18), 11th in single season wins (31, 2016-17) and 12th in single-season winning percentage (.829, 2017-18).
Other responsibilities at Bucknell included serving as a camp counselor at Bison System Wrestling Camps in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, and as a leader at the Bucknell Bison Leadership Academy. He also served as a camp counselor at JROB Intensive Camps based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Smith graduated from Bucknell in May with a bachelor’s degree in political science.