Graceland University Athletic Director Brady McKillip announced the hiring of John Young of Orient, Iowa, as Graceland’s inaugural rodeo coach.
“We have found a perfect fit – not only for the program, but for Graceland,” said McKillip. “Having a coach from the area with the connections John has at the high school and junior college levels will have a tremendous effect on recruiting for the sport.”
Young has been participating in competitive rodeo for over 15 years and is a championship-winning bull rider in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.
During his college career at Iowa Central Community College, he was a regional champion in 2011 and 2012, and he placed near the top in the nation in 2012 and 2013.
Graceland announced the launch of its rodeo program earlier this year. Young will spend the 2019-20 school year recruiting and getting the program started. In the fall of 2020, Graceland will begin competing in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA), likely in the Great Plains region.
“John’s personality and connections will allow him to build the relationships needed to launch the program,” said McKillip. “His success at all levels of rodeo will give him the credibility to successfully recruit and teach the sport to our student-athletes and, ultimately, help us build a great program."
“I feel blessed to have the opportunity to work with young people and to be the first head rodeo coach at Graceland University,” Young said. “With the support from Graceland and the community, I believe we will build a very successful program. My goal is to encourage rodeo student-athletes to reach their full potential in both rodeo and through their educational goals.”