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Division II national champion Noel Torres and Division I runner-up Derek White join UCO staff

A pair of former college wrestling standouts have been added to the Central Oklahoma coaching staff as the top-ranked Bronchos attempt to capture a second straight NCAA Division II national championship in March.

Division II national champion Noel Torres and Division I runner-up Derek White joined UCO in early January and have already had a big impact, says head coach Todd Steidley.

“We’re extremely fortunate to have Noel and Derek in the room with us,” Steidley said. “They’re both excellent technicians with great credentials and they know how to relate to our guys. And I think they will really help us with recruiting.”

Torres was a four-time state qualifier at Emporia (Kan.) High School before going to Division II Newman, where he suffered season-ending injuries three straight years. He redshirted a season, then went 39-4 and became the school’s first-ever national champion by claiming the 184-pound title in 2017-18.

Torres, who has stayed active as a member of the Mexican National Team, was an assistant coach at Newman for two years before serving as an assistant coach at Oklahoma State’s Regional Training Center.

White is an Edmond product and was a star at North High School, finishing as state runner-up at 119 pounds as a freshman. He grew into a two-time state champion at 195 by the end of high school started his college career at Nebraska before transferring to Oklahoma State.

White went 18-9 at 197 and heavyweight as sophomore for the Cowboys, then moved to heavyweight full time as a junior and had a 24-5 record in winning the Big 12 title and qualifying for nationals. He capped his career in 2018-19 with a 32-2 season, another Big 12 championship and a national runner-up finish.

White continued to compete after college for a few years while also working as a coach for John Smith’s Wrestling Camp and as an assistant at Michigan’s Regional Training Center. 

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