Hansen moves from his position as an assistant football coach with the Wasps, to lead the wrestling program as it prepares to compete in fall 2020.
"I am thrilled to have Pete launch our men's and women's wrestling programs," said Crutchfield. "His passion to mentor student-athletes on and off the playing field is a great match with the direction we want to go with wrestling. Pete has vast experience on the recruiting trail, and he is well-versed in what the Emory & Henry experience can be for prospective student-athletes."
Hansen makes a move to head coach after a successful collegiate wrestling career at Southern Virginia University. In 2009, Hansen finished in fifth place at the National Collegiate Wrestling Association (NWCA) national championship – earning him All-American status for the season. He qualified for the NWCA national championship in three of his four years at SVU. Other career highlights include a first-place finish in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Tournament in 2008 and a third-place result at the same event the following year.
"When I heard that E&H was going to start a wrestling program, my first thought was that we are going to be great because of the deep tradition of wrestling in the region," said Hansen. "The opportunity to build something from the ground up doesn't come around every day. As a coach, if that doesn't get your blood pumping, I don't know what does."
Wrestling has become a growing sport in NCAA Division III for both men and women. However, Emory & Henry will be just the second school in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) to offer both men's and women's wrestling. Currently, only Ferrum College provides both. Washington and Lee University currently offers men's wrestling while Roanoke College and Shenandoah University have recently made announcements to add the sport.
"Emory & Henry has tradition of excellence and an alumni base that is supportive like nowhere else," added Hansen. "This inaugural season will be something special, and I know that we are going to build this program into something that will make them proud. Our goal is to show the world how great Emory & Henry can be."
The addition of men's and women's wrestling expands the College's varsity sports offerings to 26 with 22 NCAA Division III programs, IDA and IHSA equestrian teams and competitive cheer and dance squads.