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CEDAR FALLS — Cedar Falls High School has tabbed Wartburg College assistant head coach Chris Ortner as its new head wrestling coach.

Ortner replaces Michael Kelly, who resigned earlier this spring after one season.

“I’m excited to be back in the high school ranks coaching again,” Ortner said Tuesday night. “There is a lot of potential in that room, and I’m excited to see what we can do.”

Ortner has been the head assistant at Wartburg the past five seasons, helping the Knights to four Division III national championships, and an assistant with the premier Division III program the past 13 years.

“It is always tough to leave, especially when you’ve had that much success,” Ortner said of his decision to leave Wartburg.

The former Knights All-American spent four years at Waterloo Columbus where he coached 19 state qualifiers, 18 state placewinners and two individual champions while also winning the Class 1A team title in 2004.

“We are super excited to have Coach Ortner join our coaching staff,” Cedar Falls director of athletics Troy Becker said. “He brings a lot of experience and a proven record of helping student-athletes build their character and achieve at their full potential.”

Ortner will teach within the Cedar Falls system.

He graduated from Wartburg in 2000 with degrees in fitness management and physical education before earning his master’s degree in school counseling from Buena Vista in 2007.

As a competitor, Ortner was a junior college All-American before transferring to Wartburg where he was a team captain and a two-time NCAA All-American at 184 pounds.

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Sports Reporter

Sports reporter for The Courier

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