After three years as the wrestling head coach at Southeast, Nick Balde is leaving to take the same job at Braden River, he told the Herald on Saturday.
Balde led the Seminoles to a pair of Class 1A-District 11 titles during his three seasons and capped his run with the Noles with a Class 1A-Region 3 championship earlier this year. Southeast sent 12 wrestlers to the Class 1A tournament during Balde’s tenure and four of those reached the podium in Kissimmee. Darrien Grant, now a freshman defensive lineman for South Florida, gave Balde a 1A runner-up this season when he pinned his way to the final in the 220-pound weight class at Silver Spurs Arena.
With the Pirates, Balde will be Braden River’s third different head coach in three seasons. He’ll succeed Damon Eikenhorst, who coached Chance Sharbono and Brendan Bengtsson to a pair of Class 2A runner-up finishes in 2016.
Balde previously was an assistant coach at Lakewood Ranch before taking the job with the Seminoles when Daniel Bradshaw was promoted from head wrestling coach to athletic director in 2014. Bradshaw left Bradenton earlier this summer for a job in Anderson, S.C.