Nika West recently guided Springdale Har-Ber to its second Class 6A-7A state wrestling title, but he’s decided to make a change.

The 38-year-old West, who led the Wildcats to two state titles and two third-place finishes in six seasons, accepted the head wrestling coach’s position at Fayetteville on Thursday, pending board approval March 31.

West said he at first declined when asked if he was interested in the Fayetteville wrestling coach’s job when contacted by Fayetteville athletic director Steve Janski about a week after the state tournament. Fayetteville wrestling coach Steve Adair resigned after the state tournament. After giving it more consideration, he changed his mind. “At the time, I wasn’t interested in it (the job),” West said. “Then I got to looking at it and thought I owe it to myself to look into the situation. After visiting, I saw the opportunity to stay at home with my family a little more because of their block scheduling. I can start practice at 2:30 and be done by 4:30 every day.”

Janski said he interviewed multiple candidates last week and offered West the job Thursday.

“We had some really great applicants not just in the state, but regionally as well,” Janski said. “Coach West with his experience and resume and overall reputation of his leadership and character was impressive. We’re excited to invite him into our family.” West also helped Rogers Heritage to a state title in 2010 as an assistant coach. He acknowledged it was not an easy decision. “It was an emotional time when I told my team,” West said. “It’s hard to help a 14- to 18-year-old kid understand the value of family time. At some point in their lives, they will have to make the same decision. I’m excited about the growth that Fayetteville has and the administration’s support they have shown me.”
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Nika West Moves From Har-Ber To Fayetteville
3.21.16 by Paul Boyd, Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette