Staff
Head Coach
Sammie Henson

Sammie Henson was named the eighth head coach in WVU program history in May of 2014, and is quickly bringing the program to new heights.

Henson brought with him a 17-year streak of All-Americans, having coached a total of 20 with five NCAA national champions. In Morgantown, he was challenged with the task of extending that streak in a program that hadn’t had a wrestler finish in the top eight since 2007. He succeeded.

Pulling freshman Zeke Moisey’s redshirt two weeks into the season proved to be one of the most crucial decisions of Henson’s career. Entering the 2015 NCAA National Championships unseeded, Moisey put together an historic run, upsetting the No. 15, No. 2 and No. 7 seeds to become WVU’s first All-American since Brandon Rader in 2007. He then went on to pin No. 6 Thomas Gilman of Iowa in 52 seconds in the semifinals to become the first unseeded wrestler to advance to the finals since 2003. Moisey dropped a 9-5 decision to No. 4 Nathan Tomasello of Ohio State to cap his season as the NCAA runner-up.

However, the turnaround of the WVU wrestling program started long before the NCAA Championships. The Sammie Henson era opened in Morgantown on November 13, when the Mountaineers hosted former WVU assistant and the Arizona State Sun Devils at the WVU Coliseum. Though the Sun Devils took the match, 19-13, the match in front of 1,200 fans rejuvenated interest in the program.

West Virginia put together it’s best-ever showing at the Big 12 Championship in March, accruing a team-high 35 points with four finalists. A.J. Vizcarrondo became the program’s first ever two-time Big 12 finalist and was the runner-up at heavyweight for the second straight year. He was joined on the podium by Moisey (runner-up 125), Roman Perryman (runner-up at 149), Jake A. Smith (runner-up at 197) and Bubba Scheffel (third at 184).

In addition to his work with the Mountaineers, Henson started the Mountaineer Regional Training Center, drawing a number of national and international-level wrestlers to Morgantown to train. In the summer of 2014, he guided assistant coach Nick Marable to a spot on the U.S. World Team, and continues to coach Marable, former Olympian Clarissa Chun and national team member Jessica Medina through the MRTC.

A native of St. Charles, Mo., Henson came to WVU from Missouri, where he spent two seasons as head assistant coach. In just two seasons at Missouri, he assisted in producing the No. 2-ranked recruiting class in the nation in 2013 in addition to leading the Tigers to two consecutive conference titles and seven All-America finishes, including one national champion this past season.

Prior to Missouri, Henson was the assistant head coach at Oklahoma from 2009-11. While there, he helped secure the No. 2 recruiting class in the country, coached seven wrestlers to All-America status at the NCAA Championships and helped the program become the top academic squad in the Big 12 during his tenure.

Prior to his stint with Oklahoma, Henson served as the head assistant at Cal Poly (2007-09), volunteer assistant at Nebraska (2006-07), along with stops as an assistant at Army (2002-03) and Penn State (2000-02).

He has mentored numerous national champions, such as Michael Lightner (Oklahoma), Byron Tucker (Oklahoma), Paul Donahoe (Nebraska) and J’den Cox (Missouri), along with several All-Americans, Big 12 Champions, Big 10 Champions and Pac 12 Champions, including: Shane and Dane Valdez (Oklahoma), Witt Durden (Oklahoma) and Josh and Scott Moore (Penn State), Chad Mendes (Cal Poly), Chase Pami (Cal Poly), Boris Novachkov (Cal Poly), Jarrod Patterson (Oklahoma), Zach Bailey (Oklahoma), Kyle Terry (Oklahoma), Tyler Caldwell (Oklahoma) and Eric Lapotsky (Oklahoma).

Henson's resume as a competitor speaks for itself. He went on to become one of the most celebrated wrestlers in the history of the United States, as one of just a few wrestlers in USA history to earn three world medals. In 1998, Henson became a world champion for Team USA at the World Wrestling Championships, in Tehran, Iran, which eventually led to him winning the John Smith Award for USA Wrestler of the Year. He earned a silver medal at the 2000 Olympic Games at 55 kg (121 lbs.) in Sydney, Australia, and won the bronze medal at the 2006 World Wrestling Championships at 35 years of age.

Henson started his collegiate wrestling career at Missouri, where he was a Big Eight Champion and All-American for Missouri in 1991. He then transferred to Clemson, where he became a two-time NCAA Champion, finishing his career with a 71-0 record. He was named as Clemson's Male Athlete of the Year in 1994 and was inducted into the Clemson Athletics Hall of Fame in 2000. Henson returned to Missouri in 1995 to earn a degree in parks, recreation and tourism management.

Henson and his wife, Stephanie, have four children: Jackson, Wyatt, Ruby and Georgia-Kate. They also have two dogs Biggie Smalls and Nelly.

Assistant Coach
Danny Felix

Danny Felix enters his sixth season as a full-time assistant with the West Virginia University wrestling staff in 2015 after joining the Mountaineers in 2005 as a volunteer assistant. Felix’s specialty is with the lighter weight classes, but also assists all wrestlers with technique and various wrestling moves.

Felix was an integral part of Zeke Moisey’s NCAA campaign, first serving as the coach who recruited the future All-American out of high school. Felix was mat-side as Moisey upset four straight opponents – including a pin of No. 6 Thomas Gilman of Iowa in the semifinals – on his way to a runner-up finish at the 2015 NCAA Championships. Moisey was joined by Bubba Scheffel, Michael Morales and Jake A. Smith as the crew combined for WVU’s first top-25 finish at the tournament since 2005.

The Mountaineers progressed significantly during the 2014-15 season, topping a pair of ranked foes in No. 25 and No. 18 Pitt, earning a brief appearance in the NCAA top-25. Their win over the rival Panthers marked their first Backyard Brawl victory since 2007. In addition, the team posted its best-ever showing at the 2015 Big 12 Championship, with four Mountaineers making the finals. A.J. Vizcarrondo became the program’s first ever two-time Big 12 finalist with his runner-up finish, and was joined on the podium by four of his teammates as the squad registered a team-best 35 points.

In June of 2009, Felix worked his way on to one of the most prestigious teams – the U.S. World Team. He was one of seven freestyle wrestlers to earn a spot on the team, and Felix competed in Herning, Denmark, at the 2009 World Wrestling Championships.

In early 2008 in the professional ranks, Felix garnered the bronze medal at the 2008 U.S. Open. A year prior, he wrestled in the 121-pound class at the NYAC Holiday International Wrestling Championships and finished as a silver medalist. That same year, he was crowned the 2007 Sunkist International Champion.

Before coming to Morgantown, Felix spent a majority of his coaching career along the eastern coast of the United States. From 2003-05, he was the club wrestling coach at the University of Virginia.

Felix jumped into the coaching ranks in 1998 at the University of Oklahoma. There, he served as a club coach for two years.

Through his nine years of club wrestling, he has worked with kids as young as five years old to teenagers at the high school level. Felix, in charge of the freestyle programs, has taught everything from the step-by-step fundamentals to the more intricate wrestling moves. Most recently, Felix founded the Gold & Blue Elite Wrestling Club in the Greater Morgantown Area.

In 1995, Felix earned All-America status at Arizona State in the 118-pound weight class. To add to his stellar college career, he also was a three-time Pac-10 champion.

He earned his bachelor of fine arts degree from Arizona State in 1998.

Felix and, his wife, Cheri, have a son, Luca.

Assistant Coach
Nick Marable

Two-time All-American Nick Marable came to Morgantown in the summer of 2014 has helped coach Sammie Henson bring the program to new heights in his short tenure.

During the 2014-15 season, the Mountaineers made numerous strides in moving the program forward. WVU defeated a pair of ranked opponents in then-No. 25 Bucknell and then-No. 18 Pitt, briefly making an appearance in the top-25 rankings themselves for the first time in years. The squads win over the rival Panthers was its first since 2007. A trio of wrestlers earned podium honors at the 33rd Annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, leading the Mountaineers to their best showing since 2007 with a 16th-place finish.

The squad produced a program-best 35 points at the 2015 Big 12 Championship, with a team-record four Mountaineers qualifying for the championship finals. Zeke Moisey (125), Roman Perryman (149), Jake A. Smith (197) and A.J. Vizcarrondo (HWT) recorded runner-up finishes at their respective weights and Bubba Scheffel (184) took third as Vizcarrondo became the first two-time finalist in program history.

Moisey, Michael Morales (141), Scheffel and Smith earned at-large bids to the 2015 NCAA Championships in St. Louis, where the Mountaineers became the story of the tournament. Unseeded true freshman Moisey, who had started the season as a redshirt, upset four seeded grapplers to become the first unseeded wrestler to compete in the national championship finals since 2003. Moisey was the first Mountaineer to make the finals since Greg Jones in 2005, and was WVU’s first All-American since 2007.

Within weeks of joining the staff, Marable put West Virginia wrestling on the international map by competing in the 2014 United World Wrestling World Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. His spot on Team U.S.A. meant every member of the WVU wrestling staff had competed in the World Championships. Marable balanced coaching and competing throughout the year, winning the Dave Schultz Memorial International in February and competing for Team U.S.A. at the World Cup in April

Marable joined the staff of the Mountaineers after spending the 2013-14 season as the volunteer assistant coach at Missouri, lending a hand in the Tigers’ 14th-place finish at the NCAA Championships in Oklahoma City and helping two Missouri Tigers earn All-America honors, including true freshman J’den Cox claiming the National Championship at 197 pounds. Prior to his time as volunteer assistant, Marable spent three years as the assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Tigers’ grapplers.

Marable is currently the top-ranked men’s freestyle wrestler at 70 kilograms (154 pounds) in the United States. He was named TheMat.com’s Wrestler of the Week in February after claiming Gold at the Yasar Dogu International in Istanbul, Turkey. Marable defeated the 2012 Olympic champion and two-time world champion Jordan Burroughs on his way to the title. The victory snapped Burrough’s 69-match win streak and was his first loss in his career at the senior level. Marable also won Gold at the Grand Prix in Paris, France, and Gold at the New York Athletic Club International this year. He finished third at the 2013 U.S. Open.

Marable currently wrestles with the Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club and will continue to do so while in Morgantown.

A two-time All-American at 165 pounds for Missouri, Marable was a three-time NCAA qualifier and wrestled to a third-place finish at the 2008 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. As a senior, he posted a 35-5 record, which included a 13-1 dual mark, and became the 17th Missouri wrestler in program history to join the elite 100-win club.

Winner of three consecutive Big 12 titles, Marable finished his career with 116 wins, the eighth-most in Missouri history, and was awarded Missouri's Hap Whitney Coaches Award honor in 2007, as well as Most Improved Wrestler accolades in 2008.

The Collierville, Tenn., native graduated from Missouri in the spring of 2010 with a degree in psychology.