By Mike Henry Special to the Shawnee News-Star
Shawnee native Jordan Leen has been named the new head wrestling coach at Brown University.
He is the son of former Shawnee High School mat legend Mark Leen and will replace Todd Beckerman who stepped down in May.
The 36-year-old brings an impressive record as a competitor that includes being a four-time Tennessee High School state champion and prep All-American. He was a three-time collegiate All-American for national power Cornell University where he won the NCAA title at 157 pounds in 2008.
His move to Brown marks a return to the Ivy League where he finished his career as a three-time first-team All-Ivy honoree with a perfect 17-0 mark against conference opponents in addition to winning a pair of EIWA crowns.
The four-time NCAA qualifier wrapped up his impressive wrestling career for the Big Red with a 118-29 mark that ranked him sixth in the Cornell record books for career wins.
Jordan was born in Shawnee in 1985, the year before his dad led the Wolves to being named the nation’s number one team and his selection as Wrestling USA Magazine’s National Coach of the Year. Mark Leen went on to win three national titles with Garden City (Kan.) Community College followed by three conference championships as head coach at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2015.
In 2019, Jordan was named to the Cornell University Hall of Fame. He began his own coaching career as an assistant at Duke (2010-11) and associate head coach/ lead recruiter at the University of Virginia for six years followed by another six seasons in a similar position at Pittsburgh University.
Brown is located in Providence, Rhode Island and has one of the nation’s oldest mat programs dating back to 1898. The new coach is nationally recognized as one of the outstanding recruiters in college wrestling.
“Jordan is a high character individual that has the experience and mentality it takes to build an elite team and will make an immediate impact,” said Pittsburgh’s head coach Keith Gavin. “He is great at developing student-athletes and he is a very effective recruiter.”
Leen and his wife Paige are the parents of three children.
Note: Henry, the writer of this story, is a former Shawnee High School and state champion wrestling coach.