CEDAR FALLS – Drew Foster, a 2019 national champion and two-time Big 12 champion wrestler for the Panthers, has been elevated to a full-time assistant coaching role with the UNI wrestling team.
A two-time All-American and three-time NCAA qualifier at 184 pounds for the Panthers, Foster became UNI’s first national champion since 2000 when he clinched the NCAA championship in St. Louis in 2019. The 14th Panther to win an individual national title, he recorded ten top-20 wins during his senior season at UNI, including three victories over No. 5 Zack Zavatsky of Virginia Tech (twice at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invite, once at the NCAA Championships), as well as No. 6 Max Dean in the NCAA finals. He also took home tournament titles at the Midlands Championships and the Harold Nichols Cyclone Open.
As a junior, Foster went 26-6 to win his first Big 12 title, beginning a stretch of six consecutive seasons of Panther wrestlers winning a conference title at 184 pounds. With top-20 wins over No. 8 Jordan Ellingwood (Central Michigan), No. 13 Max Dean (Cornell) and No. 16 Chip Ness (North Carolina) on the year. That season he also became the 14th Panther wrestler in history to participate in the NWCA All-Star Classic. Foster would earn his second straight NCAA Championship berth, grabbing a first-round win over Kordell Norfleet (Arizona State).
Foster earned his first All-American honor as a sophomore en route to a seventh place finish at the 2017 NCAA Championships in Cleveland after finishing as runner-up at 184 pounds at the MAC Championships. In 2017, he placed second at the conference championships while also taking sixth at the Southern Scuffle.
Foster started his redshirt freshman season in 2015-16 at 174 pounds before moving up to 184 pounds for UNI’s final seven duals. Moving up a weight class, he defeated No. 29 Andrew Romanchik (Ohio) in a 5-2 decision for fifth place at the MAC Championships.
A 2019 UNI graduate with a degree in elementary and middle level education, Foster was an Academic All-Big 12 selection in 2019. The Burlington, Iowa native and Mediapolis High School product finished his collegiate career with a 95-35 record (29-15 in duals), with 23 victories by major decision, nine by technical fall and six pins.
Foster currently resides in Cedar Falls with his wife, Jamie.