Twenty-four-year-old Florida A&M coach Reggie Snowden has improved the wrestling program in just his first season as a head coach, players say.
“As a coach, he is phenomenal,” said freshman wrestler O’Dell Jones. “He has the tools to get us ready and where we need to be to compete at a high level.”
Snowden, a D.C. native who received his bachelor’s degree in public relations from FAMU, was a four-year varsity starter and two-time team captain in high school.
He finished his career with a 113-34 record and became the second wrestler at Woodrow Wilson SHS to reach 100 wins. He currently hold’s his high school’s all-time career wins record.
“My senior year, I went 31-3, won a D.C. City Championship and won MVP of the championship tournament,” Snowden said.
Snowden chose not to compete for FAMU while he was an undergraduate for many reasons, mainly because he wanted to have a normal college social life.
“I didn’t realize how much I missed wrestling until I came back after six years away,” Snowden said.
Former FAMU wrestling coach Abdul Sharif was the first to allow Snowden to get back into the wrestling environment.
“One day last summer, I saw the team practicing and my pride and passion for the sport wouldn’t let me walk away from it again,” Snowden said. “I came in just to help out under coach Sharif and served as an assistant coach last year. When a law school opportunity presented itself for coach, I stepped up for my team to the head coaching spot.”
Snowden has been the wrestling head coach for one season.
“Being coach, I like that I have an audience that has to listen to me,” Snowden said laughing. “I always have something to say or some advice to give on the mat.”
As coach of an up and coming wrestling team, and former wrester, Snowden has much that he wants to pass on to his team.
“To me, wrestling is all about being a student of the sport, being comfortable and being confident on the mat,” Snowden said. “I always find myself referring back to techniques, strategies and mentalities that led me to success when I was competing.”
Becoming the head coach of a wrestling team, without much coaching experience, resulted in coach Snowden picking up on a lot of things on the fly.
“I’ve learned that mental strength is much more powerful than physical,” Snowden said. “It’s much more important to be a positive influence in these young men and women’s lives and help them to become better people, than to focus on their records in competition.”
He has placed high goals for the wrestling team, and feels they are certainly obtainable for his young team.
“Our goal is to qualify everybody we’ve got for nationals. To go and represent our university well,” Snowden said. “And ultimately, just for the program to keep on growing and gaining momentum to become a powerhouse for years to come.”
Snowden looks forward to helping players enjoy the sport and learn to have fun with it.
“I want the guys to always remember to have fun,” Snowden said. “Just work hard and give 100 percent. If you’re going to give anything at all, that’s the only way to win, and what’s more fun than winning, right?”