UVU Wrestling: #22 Utah Valley knocks off #13 Purdue, comeback falls just short vs UVA

Utah Valley junior 174-pounder Kimball Bastian was one of five Wolverines to win both matches on the Saturday at the South Beach Duals in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Here, Bastian takes on Wisconsin's Ryan Christensen on Nov. 18 in Madison.

OREM — Utah Valley University head wrestling coach Greg Williams has announced the hiring of former standout UVU wrestler Kimball Bastian to his coaching staff.

Bastian, who was a three-time NCAA qualifier and a four-time NWCA Scholar All-American on the mat for the Wolverines at 174 pounds, will now move into the coaching ranks as the team’s volunteer assistant.

“We are excited to have Kimball join the UVU coaching staff. He is a great addition,” Williams said. “Not only has he been a successful wrestler for us the past five years, he has also been a great example to his teammates. They look up to him, trust him and will be excited to have him help lead them. Kimball has a great understanding of our expectations of a Wolverine student-athlete and is excited to begin working with our guys to help them achieve the highest levels of success.”

Not only was Bastian a three-time NCAA qualifier and a four-time NWCA Scholar All-American during his time in a UVU singlet, but he was also a four-time first team academic All-Big 12 Conference honoree and a four-time Big 12 Championship placewinner. Bastian, who wrestled for Utah Valley from 2015-2020, recently capped his stellar collegiate career with 77 total victories to move him into fourth-place in the all-time UVU record books (77-44).

After redshirting the 2015-16 campaign, Bastian had an impressive freshman season for UVU in 2016-17 in which he posted a career-best 21 wins (21-13) and a sixth-place finish at the Big 12 Championships as the team’s starter at 174 pounds. After just missing out on qualifying for his first trip to nationals that season, he followed that up with a 20-11 record as a sophomore in 2017-18, a fifth-place finish at the Big 12 Championships, and an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships. He then posted a 19-12 mark as a junior in 2018-19, a fourth-place finish at the Big 12 Championships, and entered his second trip to the NCAA Championships as the No. 14 seed. He then capped his career with a 17-8 record as a senior in 2019-20, a fifth-place finish at the 2020 Big 12 Championships, and was set to enter the 2020 NCAA Championships as the No. 19 seed in his weight class before they were unfortunately canceled due to COVID-19.

Bastian, who was nationally ranked in the top-10 of his weight class for the majority of his senior season at UVU, hails from Mapleton, Utah, where he was a two-time Utah Wrestling State Champion at Maple Mountain High School. He also went a perfect 56-0 during his senior year at Maple Mountain and took home a 2014 Reno Tournament of Champions championship as well as a third-place finish at USA Folkstyle Nationals during his senior year of high school.

Bastian is a proud graduate of Utah Valley University, as he recently earned his bachelor’s degree in exercise science in the fall of 2019. He also received a certificate in Student Leadership and Success Studies in the spring and is looking forward to staying on at UVU and moving into the coaching ranks.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to be involved in wrestling still, especially after the sudden end to last season with the NCAA Championship being canceled. I believe some of my biggest strengths in this coaching role will be my knowledge in developing the wrestlers as athletes, due to my education in exercise science,” Bastian said. “Also, I see myself as being a great mentor for a lot of the wrestlers. Between wrestling in the same program and being their former teammate, I have a special relationship that will hopefully allow me to reach their needs on a deeper level. I believe the greatest key to being effective with individuals is the ability to understand them. My knowledge and understanding of what the student-athletes are experiencing will be one of my greatest advantages.”

Bastian replaces Luke Lofthouse on UVU’s staff, as Lofthouse recently moved on to pursue other career interests.

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