Coach James Reynolds will enter his fifth year as Drury's head wrestling coach in 2020-21 and has guided the program through its inaugural season.
Reynolds helped bring collegiate wrestling back to southwest Missouri for the first time in 23 years when Drury launched their program in 2016-17. In 2019, he guided the Panthers first-ever NCAA-II national qualifier as Blake Clevenger, competing at 157 pounds, advanced past the SuperRegional and went 2-2 at the national championship. Clevenger finished third at the SuperRegional and finished the year 26-4. The Panthers were also nationally ranked for the first time in program history in 2019 and peaked at number 10 in the NCAA-II coaches' poll. Drury also earned a Team Scholar Award and had six from their roster named Scholar All-Americans by the National Wrestling Coaches Association.
His first team went 3-6 in duals and freshman Jared Rennick finished sixth in the 197-pound class at the NCAA-II Super Regional. Reynolds' second season saw the Panthers finish 4-10 and end the year winning three straight duals.
Reynolds was previously the head assistant coach at Maryville University in St. Louis under the direction of head coach Mike Denney. Denney and Reynolds started the Maryville program together during the 2011-2012 academic year, and during the next four seasons, the two coached thirteen NCAA Division II All-Americans and one NCAA Division II National Champion. Coach Reynolds also helped the Saints gain back-to-back 3rd place national finishes, and during the 2014-15 season, the Saints won the NWCA Division II National Duals Team Championship as well as the Midwest Classic Team Championship.
During the summer of 2012, Reynolds was chosen to serve as a coach at the National Wrestling Coaches Association Leadership Academy. The academy, comprised of young up-and-coming coaches, served as training for future long-term coaches to build success within an organization.
Reynolds served as a graduate assistant coach for the University of Nebraska-Omaha from 2008-11 and helped the Mavericks to three national championships. Five UNO wrestlers won individual national titles during Reynolds' three seasons, and the program produced 24 NCAA-II All-Americans. He earned his Master's degree in Physical Education and Coach from UNO in 2011.
Reynolds attended Adams State in Colorado as an undergraduate student-athlete and wrestled for head coach Jason Ramstetter. Throughout Reynolds’ collegiate career, earned a national ranking within his weight class and beat several ranked competitors as well as All-Americans. He finished his education at Adams State College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Performance Physical Education K-12 in December of 2007. After finishing his career at Adams State, served as an assistant wrestling coach at the university and helped the Grizzlies to a fifth-place finish at the 2008 NCAA Division II National Championships in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Originally from Alamosa, Colorado, coach Reynolds and his wife, Sara, reside in Springfield with their eight-year-old English Bulldog, Cami.
Coach Nick Burghardt will start his fifth year with the Panthers as an assistant wrestling coach in 2020-21.
He came to Drury from Maryville University, where he wrestled under head coach Mike Denney from 2011-2016. While wrestling for the Saints, Nick qualified for the NCAA Division II national tournament three times (2014, 2015, 2016), and became an All-American each year finishing fourth in 2014, runner-up in 2015, and fourth in 2016. Nick finished his time at Maryville with a record 112-40 and graduated with degrees in Criminology and Psychology.
Originally from Colorado Springs, Colorado, Burghardt attended Coronado High School where he placed at the CHSAA State Tournament three times and had a record of 148-19.
After graduating with his Master’s Degree, Nick now works full time in the Drury Office of Recruitment.