Michael Baxter became the second coach in Coker wrestling history in June of 2016.
Baxter comes to Coker after spending the last two seasons as an assistant coach at Mercyhurst University. During the 2016 season, Baxter helped guide the Lakers to an 11-4 record, including going 6-1 in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) play. Nine wrestlers earned All-American status, with 125-pound Willie Bohince finishing second at the NCAA Division II National Championship. Off the mat, Mercyhurst had nine wrestlers named National Wrestling Coaches Assocaition (NWCA) Scholar All-Americans and as a team the Lakers had the second highest grade-point average in the nation, with a 3.350 team GPA. There were also two wrestlers, Bohince and Augusta Mizia, named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District at-large team.
Baxter, a native of Sandusky, Ohio, wrestled for the Lakers for two seasons before injuries derailed his athletic career. Over his two seasons, he compiled a 41-23 record, including a stellar 29-14 mark as a freshman.
The 29 victories he recorded as a freshman are tied for fifth in program history by a rookie. He also led the Lakers with ten victories by fall as a freshman, which is also tied for fifth in program history in a single season. He missed qualifying for the NCAA Division II National Championship by one place after finishing fifth at the NCAA Super Region 1 Tournament.
After having his wrestling career cut short due to injuries, Baxter stayed on with the program as a student assistant coach during his junior and senior seasons. Over his two seasons on the Laker bench, Mercyhurst has posted a 28-9 record in duals, including a program-best 15-3 mark in 2012-13. The Lakers also won the first-ever Division II PSAC Championship in 2013-14.
Baxter wrestled at Perkins High School in Sandusky, earning third- and seventh-place finishes at the State Championships during his career.
A 2013 graduate of Mercyhurst with a bachelor's degree in sports medicine, he also earned a master's degree in exercise science from Mercyhurst in 2014.