Benjamin Wissel joined the Duke wrestling program as an assistant coach in July 2012. Wissel, a standout at Purdue University, works with the upper weights. The Blue Devils have been incredibly successful with Wissel battling with they heavier weights daily in the wrestling room.
An outstanding technician and leader in the wrestling room, Wissel played a major role in helping Conner Hartmann become Duke’s first three-time All-American in program history.
Most recently, the sixth-year assistant coach was crucial in helping Jacob Kasper make the jump to All-American at heavyweight. Kasper, wrestling at 184 previously, landed on the national scene at heavyweight in 2017. He started his junior season unranked and finished sixth at NCAA Championships. Wissel provided Kasper with a workout partner, but also helped the Lexington, Ohio native to improve his technique.
As a senior in 2015-16, with Wissel as his workout partner in the wrestling room, Hartmann captured his second consecutive ACC title at 197 pounds and finished seventh at the NCAA Championships - his third time on the podium. A mentor and friend to Hartmann, Wissel was instrumental in the native of Washington state’s unprecented success. Hartmann finished fourth in career wins and eighth in career win percentage.
In 2014-15, Wissel was a leading force behind the success of both Hartmann and Jacob Kasper’s success on and off the mat. Hartmann captured his first ACC title, while Kasper earned All-ACC honors and advanced to the NCAA Championships at 184 pounds.
In 2013-14, Wissel saw his work with Hartmann take effect as the 197-pounder grabbed a spot on the podium at NCAA Championships. Hartmann upset a pair of seeded wrestlers and went on to become Duke’s second All-American wrestler in program history. Hartmann finished with 27-11 record, surpassing the 20-wins mark for the second straight season.
In his inaugural season, Wissel helped mentor Hartmann as a redshirt freshman, to the NCAA Championships. Under Wissel’s watch, Hartmann amassed 20 wins and took third at the ACC Championships despite missing nearly two months to an injury. In addition, Wissel worked closely with junior Brian Self as the Oklahoma City native wrestled up from 197 to heavyweight. With Wissel’s help, Self took fourth at the ACC Championships and finished with a 5-9 dual record despite being outweiged in every match.
A four-time NCAA qualifier and two-time All-American for Purdue University, Wissel brought with him a wide array of coaching experiences. He previously served as the Boiler Elite Wrestling Club Head Coach and as a volunteer assistant for the Boilermakers. During his time with Boiler Elite, Wissel worked with wrestlers ranging from elementary school to college. He was instrumental in teaching proper technique, setting up practices and running fundraising projects for the program over the course of the five years.
As a volunteer assistant for Purdue, Wissel helped the staff with practice structure and worked closely in the sports performance of specific weight classes, and assisted in the monitoring of academic progress of the student-athletes.
A native of Richmond, Ind., Wissel was a standout wrestler at 184 pounds for the Boilermakers. He qualified for the NCAA Championships in each of his four seasons and captured All-America accolades his final two years. In 2005, Wissel posted a fifth-place finish in the Big Ten Championships and an eighth-place showing at the NCAA Championships.
Wissel, finished the 2005-06 season with a Purdue single-season record 188 takedowns and a career-best 38-6 record. He moved up on the podium in both events in his final season at Purdue. He took third at the Big Ten Championships and seventh at the NCAA Championships to earn his second All-America award. Wissel concluded his career with an outstanding 115-49 overall record.
In addition to his All-America honors, Wissel was a two-time Scholar All-America selection by the NWCA and earned the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. He captured Purdue’s Most Dedicated Wrestler award four times, was a two-time recipient of the Purdue Wrestling Captains Award, and was voted Purdue’s Most Valuable Wrestler twice.
He was selected as one of six Purdue student-athletes for the Durham Brothers Leadership Award, presented to student-athletes who have demonstrated leadership to their teammates both on and off the playing field through their positive attitude, strong work ethic and overall commitment to excellence. Wissel also was chosen as the recipient of the Varsity Walk Award given annually to the outstanding senior who has participated as a varsity athlete and brought national recognition to Purdue.
Wissel earned his bachelor’s degree in health and fitness from Purdue’s Department of Kinesiology in 2006.
Wissel and his wife Elizabeth, also a native of Richmond Ind., and Purdue graduate, have two daughters, Molly and Cora, and two sons, Nolan and Emmett.