Will Rowe joined the Duke wrestling staff in August of 2012. A University of Oklahoma graduate, Rowe assists in all aspects of the program and works closely with the light and middle weights.
An energetic coach, Rowe has been a major factor in the development of many of Duke’s light and middle weights. In 2014-15, Duke landed three Blue Devils from the light to middle weight divisions in the NCAA Championships. Under Rowe, Duke’s 157-pounder Immanuel Kerr-Brown blossomed in his final three seasons, earning consecutive spots in the NCAA Championships field. Rowe, arguably had the biggest impact on 149-pounder Marcus Cain in his senior season.
The Winston-Salem, N.C. native, with Rowe teaching him, advanced to the NCAA Championships field for the first time in his career with an outstanding performance at the ACC Championships.
In addition to his coaching in the wrestling room, Rowe has truly solidified Duke’s wrestling brand through social media and design and is primarily responsible for the popular “Technique Tuesday” videos shared all over the world.
In Rowe’s first season with the program, Kerr-Brown was voted the team’s Most Improved Wrestler after posting a 12-10 overall record and a 3-2 mark against ACC foes. With Rowe encouraging and teaching him, Kerr-Brown had a breakout season in 2013-14. The Rome, Ga., native amassed a career-best 26 wins en route to earning an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships. At the tournament for the first time in his career, Kerr-Brown captured a win to advance to day two of competition.
In addition to the growth of Kerr-Brown, Rowe was instrumental in helping 133-pounder Brandon Gambucci to runner-up honors at the ACC Championships and a bid to the NCAA Championships in 2012-13. Gambucci led all Blue Devils in pins and was tied for the team lead with 23 victories that year.
Previously, Rowe was a part of the North Carolina Regional Training Center where he was training in hopes of qualifying for the 2012 London Olympics at 66kg. He comes to Duke with an excellent resume that includes qualifying for the NCAA Championships in three consecutive seasons.
A native of Arlington, Texas, Rowe competed at both 149 and 157 pounds during his time at Oklahoma. He completed his career as a Sooner with a 63-23 overall record and twice placed third at the Big 12 Championships. Rowe earned a host of noteworthy wins during his time as a
Sooner. He captured victories over two-time national champions Jeff Jaggers and Teyon Ware, the 2011 NCAA Champion and Junior World Champion Bubba Jenkins as well as 2009 NCAA champion and NC State standout Darrion Caldwell during his career.
After redshirting in 2004-05, he came out and posted an 18-7 overall record and finished among the top three in three tournaments, including in the Big 12 Championships. In 2006-07, the Texas state champion went 19-7 overall and took home the Oklahoma Open title.
Rowe, in his final season, served as a team captain and compiled a career-best record of 26-9 to rank second on the team in total wins. He opened the year on a nine-match win streak and put together a 14-4 dual meet mark. He upset the 14th-ranked wrestler en route to taking third at the Big 12 Championships and coming up one win shy of earning All-America honors.
Following graduation, Rowe became a graduate assistant for the Sooners, helping in on-campus recruiting, training the middle weights and day-to-day operation. During his time as a graduate assistant, Rowe helped Oklahoma to two top-15 finishes, including going from 34th to fifth at the NCAA Championships in a single season. He mentored one NCAA finalist, seven NCAA All-Americans and seven Scholar All-Americans. In addition to his coaching duties, Rowe continued competing on the mat. He placed among the top eight in the prestigious Asics U.S. Open Championships in 2010 at 66 kilograms.
Rowe resides in Durham with his wife Stevie and their son Cohen.