Glen Lanham was introduced as Duke wrestling head coach April 16, 2012 and has made major strides in each of his seasons at the helm.
Lanham made history in 2016 as Conner Hartmann, under Lanham’s mentoring, became Duke’s first three-time All-American. Also the first Duke wrestler to be a four-time NCAA qualifier, Hartmann finished seventh at the NCAA Championships at 197 pounds.
Four Blue Devils overall qualified for the NCAA Championships, marking the second consecutive season and the first time in program history the Blue Devils have landed at least four wrestlers in the field. Duke previously had never sent more than two wrestlers to the NCAA postseason event in consecutive years. In addition, Mitch Finesilver was one shy of landing on the podium for the Blue Devils – the farthest two Duke wrestlers have advanced at NCAAs in program history.
On the team side of the results, Duke grabbed a pair of top 25 wins with victories over rival No. 13 North Carolina and No. 23 Purdue. The triumph over the Tar Heels was the highest ranked win in program history and was the first victory over UNC since 2004. Duke upset the Boilermakers 28-18 to earn its third Big Ten win in program history and the second ranked win of the year.
Lanham’s third season was arguably his best as the Blue Devils landed a program-best five wrestlers in the NCAA Championships and posted its highest finish at 28th. Marcus Cain, Mitch Finesilver, Hartmann, Jacob Kasper and Immanuel Kerr-Brown all earned bids to the NCAA field, while Hartmann led the charge with his second All-American performance and sixth-place finish. Overall, three Blue Devils advanced to the second day of competition for the first time in program history.
In conference action, Lanham led the Blue Devils to a fourth-place showing at the ACC Championships, the highest finish since taking third in 2004. Duke defeated a pair of Big Ten opponents for the first time in program history en route to an 11-5 overall record.
In addition to his All-America performance, Hartmann took home the ACC title at 197 pounds, while Kasper and Finesilver both garnered All-ACC honors.
Off the mat, Duke ranked sixth nationally in team GPA and had four wrestlers earn NWCA All-Academic honors. The Blue Devils were tops in the ACC in GPA for a second straight year.
In just his second season, Lanham landed a Duke wrestler on the podium at NCAA Championships for the third time in the program’s history. Hartmann, in his second consecutive appearance at NCAAs, turned in a pair of upsets en route to becoming Duke’s second All-American wrestler with a fifth-place showing at 197 points.
In addition, for the first time in program history, Duke had two wrestlers - Kerr-Brown joined Hartmann – who advanced to the second day of wrestling at the NCAA Championships.
Kerr-Brown’s improvement under Lanham shined through in 2014-15. The Rome, Ga., native posted a career-high 26 wins, five shy of his previous two seasons combined, and took third at ACC Championships.
As a team, Duke had its highest finish at NCAA Championships in program history with a 29th-place showing. Overall, Duke finished the year 6-15 after wrestling its toughest schedule in school history.
The Duke wrestling program made strides in Lanham’s first season at the helm. The Blue Devils finished the year 9-10-0 and 1-4 in the ACC. The nine wins were the most since the 2008-09 campaign as Duke sent two wrestlers – Brandon Gambucci and Hartmann – to the NCAA Championships. It marked the first time since 2009 as well that multiple Blue Devils competed in the NCAA postseason event.
On the mat, Gambucci earned All-ACC honors at 133 pounds to earn an automatic berth in the NCAA Championships. Hartmann finished third at 197 pounds, despite missing the previous month to an injury, and garnered an at-large invitation to the postseason.
Overall, Duke placed four wrestlers among the top four in the ACC Championships and had seven different wrestlers place in the various tournaments over the course of the year.
Duke was equally as successful in the classroom in Lanham’s first season. The Blue Devils landed six wrestlers on the All-ACC Academic Team, while Gambucci and Hartmann earned NWCA All-Academic recognition and the Duke team ranked fifth overall with a team GPA of 3.15.
The Blue Devils also were active in the community, helping handicapped kids learn baseball, visiting local hospitals, and cooking breakfast at the Durham Urban Ministries.
Prior to taking over the head coaching position, Lanham served as an assistant coach with the Blue Devils for two seasons. Lanham helped mentor Diego Bencomo and Tanner Hough to NCAA Championship berths in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Under Lanham’s tutelage in the wrestling room, Bencomo earned 2011 All-ACC recognition after taking runner-up honors at the ACC Championships at 184 pounds. The Phoenix, Ariz., native went on to register a pair of wins in the NCAA Tournament, becoming just the second wrestler in Duke history to make it to the quarterfinal round.
With the help of Lanham in 2012, Hough became the second Duke true freshman to earn a bid to the NCAA Championships after taking fourth at the ACC Championships at 141 pounds. Hough finished his rookie campaign with a 23-13 overall record.
Lanham joined the Duke coaching staff as an assistant in June of 2010 after stints as an assistant coach at Oklahoma State, North Carolina and Purdue. Prior to arriving in Durham, he spent three seasons at Purdue where he spearheaded the Boilermakers’ recruiting efforts.
At Purdue, Lanham had an immediate impact on the program, helping several Boilermakers to breakout seasons. He mentored a selection of student-athletes to the NCAA Championships during his three seasons and under his watch Luke Manuel earned three bids to the NCAA postseason and climbed to as high as fifth nationally at 174 pounds.
The Boilermakers’ two recruiting classes under Lanham garnered a wealth of national honors, including the nation’s No. 12 class from InterMat.com in 2008. It marked the second straight top-20 national recruiting class for the Boilermakers as they reeled in three of the nation’s top-100 recruits, including a pair of 2009 USA Wrestling Junior national champions.
Prior to his three years at Purdue, the former Oklahoma State competitor coached at the University of North Carolina for four years. With the Tar Heels, Lanham also worked closely with the middle to upper weight classes and headed their recruiting efforts.
In his time in Chapel Hill, Lanham tutored four ACC Champions and nine NCAA Championships qualifiers. He also went to great lengths to improve the Tar Heels’ program, bringing in an InterMat Wrestling Top-25 recruiting class in 2006-07.
Lanham worked as a high school teacher and wrestling coach in Oklahoma from 1991-2003. He was at Midwest City High School for seven years, where he mentored several state champions and sent them on to prestigious college programs. While at Midwest City, he also volunteered his time at Oklahoma University, coaching several All-Americans.
Lanham served as a graduate assistant at Oklahoma State University from 1988-1991, helping the Cowboys to a pair of NCAA Championships. As a college competitor, he garnered All-American honors at both OSU and the University of Tennessee, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in human service with an emphasis in juvenile counseling in August of 1988. He competed internationally as a member of the Sunkist Kids team and was freestyle wrestling All-American.
Lanham resides in Pittsboro, N.C., with his wife Melanie.