NWCA's Moyer Works Tirelessly To Improve Sport

NWCA's Moyer Works Tirelessly To Improve Sport

Mike Moyer is putting his money where his mouth is with new Wrestlers In Business Network program

Jul 9, 2021 by Kyle Klingman
NWCA's Moyer Works Tirelessly To Improve Sport

An argument can be made that Mike Moyer loves wrestling more than anyone — ever. He has become the sport’s megaphone for the values and virtues that only wrestling can provide. 

Here’s the irony: he doesn’t watch much wrestling. Sure, you’ll see him at all the major wrestling events across the country but his head is usually buried in or on his cell phone. Moyer famously goes to the NCAA Wrestling Championships every year to not watch wrestling. 

He’s always making calls. He’s always sending emails. He’s always crafting texts. He’s always making connections.

Ask him about the top wrestlers in the country and he might know a few of the bigger names like Jordan Burroughs, Kyle Dake, or Spencer Lee — but that’s about it. You’ll be disappointed if you want him to rattle off the line-ups of Penn State or Iowa. You’ll be lucky if he knows more than two wrestlers on each team. 

Moyer is your guy if you want to know about the worst wrestler on a high school team. He seeks out those stories and celebrates them as victories for the sport. His interest lies in the transformative properties of wrestling more than gold medals or national titles. 

His role as executive director of the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) and Wrestlers In Business Network (WIBN) serve him well. Moyer will let everyone else watch wrestling while he’s shaking hands. He wants to find a business leader or an astronaut or a law enforcement officer or a doctor or politician or actor who applied the values of wrestling into another profession. 

The fewer wrestling credentials you have, the more Moyer will celebrate your story. Wins and losses are irrelevant in his world. 

His mission at WIBN is to leverage the unique qualities of wrestling into job opportunities for those who had the courage to participate. It’s all about connecting and reinvesting in wrestling. 

This segment of wrestling often gets neglected in the pursuit of capturing championships at various levels. A wrestler who could benefit from the structure and demands of wrestling might lose out if he or she feels there isn’t a place to reside. 

Our top one percent is as good as it’s ever been but it might come at the cost of declining high school participation — especially after a global pandemic. We need to ensure that a mediocre wrestler understands that surviving the Spartan demands of a high school wrestling room is a worthy endeavor.

That’s a tough pitch to a novice 13-year-old who has to walk out to the center of the mat alone. Everyone’s journey is different, and some might not find the sport until junior high or high school. Keeping those kids encouraged and excited is paramount to future successes. 

There are more than enough people who will shout from the mountaintop about the merits and usefulness of wrestling. They are the ones who survived to talk about it. 

That message can be difficult to get across to a teenager who is more interested in a new app than getting cross-face cradled by someone who won Tulsa Nationals. 

The principles and high standards of wrestling have never been in question. It’s getting the right people connected. 

That’s why Moyer is launching a career center where wrestlers can upload their resumes to connect with business leaders. 

“We’re putting our money where our mouth is,” Moyer said. “Wrestling sets the table. The most important thing we’ll do for a wrestler is set them up for a career.

“We’re going to be intentional about connecting our high school and college wrestlers with leaders across the country who are specifically interested in hiring wrestlers because wrestlers perform at a very high level under adverse conditions. I think it’s the single most important talking point in our sport. Industry leaders love wrestlers.”

Winning trophies and medals are nice. Having a job when you graduate from college — solely because you wrestled — has the power to transform.

(This column first appeared in WIN Magazine. To subscribe, go to WIN-Magazine.com or call 888-305-0606.)