Junior Tyler Grimsley has success pinned down to hard work, time management and dedication. As a criminal justice major and member of the wrestling team, Tyler strives for excellence, both to help him become the best version of himself and to help others. Now, Tyler is preparing to represent Olivet College at the 2018 NCAA Division III Championships on March 9 and 10.
As his high school graduation neared, Tyler planned to attend community college before transferring to a larger university, but instead he turned toward personal relationships, one-on-one attention and a community of support. Thanks to connections through his high school wrestling team, Tyler met OC head wrestling coach Brandon Brissette at the state individual wrestling championships during his senior year. Intrigued by Coach Brissette and his picture of Olivet College, Tyler visited campus shortly after and made the decision to become a Comet.
“Olivet College was just the right fit for me,” Tyler said. “I know I can always find help if I need it, and my professors actually know who I am. Another thing I really like is Coach Brissette’s coaching style. He’s very hands-on in practice and even does strength and conditioning training with us. He truly leads by example.”
Tyler has been wrestling since he was 3-years-old and began competing around 7-years-old, inspired to follow in his older brother’s footsteps in the sport. Rather than a passion for winning, an animosity toward losing drives Tyler to practice harder. For him, losing a match only means that there is room for improvement and drives a greater work ethic. In addition, Tyler’s passion for wrestling stems from both the team and individual aspect – the best of both worlds.
“Wrestling allows you to compete with yourself as an individual sport, but you also have the support of your team,” Tyler explained. “I always want to win, but I don’t feel that sense of accomplishment unless we win as a team. My teammates and I push each other to work hard and encourage one another to set big goals.”
Tyler’s ultimate goal is to become an All-American wrestler, but he’s taking it one step at a time. He recently finished second in the 165-pound bracket at the 2018 NCAA Division III Central Regional Championships, and has since been preparing for the Division III Championships beginning tomorrow, March 9 and continuing through Saturday, March 10. Dubbed his breakout season, Tyler began the year with 16 straight wins, including winning his bracket at both the Trine Invitational and North Central Invitational. He currently holds a 27-6 record, with 27 wins as the team season best. Tyler is proud to have staked his claim in the division and looks forward to continuing the momentum into his senior year.
“Tyler is a workhorse. He consistently puts in additional workouts on top of an already tough wrestling practice schedule,” said Coach Brissette. “He’s also one of the most focused competitors I’ve had in matches. He doesn’t let outside pressures bother him.”
As one of the longest seasons of all collegiate sports, spanning from November to March, one might think Tyler is looking forward to some rest and relaxation in the off-season, but that’s not the case. Shortly before college, Tyler also picked up boxing and even joined the OC boxing club. He found his same passions for wrestling also translated to boxing, allowing Tyler to compete individually backed by his team.
In addition, Tyler is using the mental discipline and tenacity he’s developing as a student-athlete to prepare for his future career in criminal justice. He’s concentrating in both law enforcement and corrections, keeping his options open and learning about all facets of the field.
In case you’re wondering just how Tyler manages such a full schedule, he simply says, “Morning workout, classes, straight to the library, team practice, and another workout to cap out the day. The hard work I put into wrestling is comparable to the work ethic I know I will need in my future career. When I’m low on energy, I’m just building my mental toughness. In the future when I’m in a hard spot, I can look back on the time while I was training and balancing classes and utilize those same skills.”
With much of his college journey yet to occur, Tyler reflects on how far he has come and is proud of the person he has grown into. For other students, he recommends embarking on the same path through Olivet College. “I really thought I wanted to attend a larger university, but I was very wrong,” Tyler said. “I’m really glad things worked out the way they have, or I wouldn’t be who I am today. I also thought I might want to attend community college, but living on my own and experiencing that freedom has been really beneficial for my growth as well. At Olivet, I’m not just going for my goals alone, I have the support of my team, coaches, professors and advisers.”
Learn more about Olivet College and opportunities for wrestlers by visiting campus and requesting to meet with coaches. Contact the Office of Admissions at 800.456.7189 or firstname.lastname@example.org.