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Published December 20, 2009, 08:43 AM

Beginning of a new era in Bison wrestling

Fargo, ND (WDAY Sports) - The NDSU wrestling program had a history of success at the Division 2 level, but they're still finding their way in the Division 1 world, so Bucky Maughan enlisted some help. New assistant Roger Kish brings change to the program whether the wrestlers like it or not.

By: Trevor Peterson, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY Sports) - The NDSU wrestling program had a history of success at the Division 2 level, but they're still finding their way in the Division 1 world, so Bucky Maughan enlisted some help. New assistant Roger Kish brings change to the program whether the wrestlers like it or not.

Bucky Maughan has called this year's team the beginning of a new era in Bison wrestling. So with 14 freshmen and just one senior, Maughan felt a change was needed. So he brought in Roger Kish, a former All-American at powerhouse Minnesota.

“He’s confident and not only can he teach it, he can beat up every guy in the room.”

Kish wasted little time in implementing some changes, such as 6-am practices.

“Guys have stood up to the challenge. They're excited about the workouts and getting better.”

“I used to tell our guys we outworked out competition and that's why we won at the Division 2 level, but we weren't doing the 6-am practices, etc, that roger's added and I think it's made a difference.”

Another change Kish has brought in is that doing just enough to win won't cut it anymore. Instead, it's now…

“Beat the guy so bad he doesn’t want to see you again. Not just win the match 6-3.”

“He’s been putting in our heads that we need to go out and know we're going to win.”

Kish feels his background with Minnesota, along with his recruiting ties to key states like Minnesota and Michigan, will make a difference. But can it be enough to eventually boost NDSU into, say, a top 15 or 20 program in the nation?

“I think so. We'll start to see that turnaround and different recruiting classes come in and we'll have high expectations.”

In the meantime, few teams, if any, will be working harder than the Bison. At least if Kish has his way. Kish was a two-time NCAA runner up for the Gophers.

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