A name synonymous with Purdue wrestling, Scott Hinkel became the Boilermakers' 13th head coach in school history in 2007, after 14 years as a Purdue assistant. After becoming the only head coach in Purdue history to post a winning dual record in his first three seasons, Hinkel stands at 74-57-2 after seven years, and led the Boilermakers to their first NWCA Top-30 All-Academic Team Ranking in school history in 2010.
Leading a three-pronged attack of wrestling, academics and community service, Hinkel has helped the Purdue wrestling program grow in all facets, achieving three All-Americans (2009 - Jake Patacsil, fifth, 149; 2010 - Cashé Quiroga, sixth, 133; 2013 - Ivan Lopouchanski, 7th, 149), improving the team GPA to one of the best in the conference and making the Boilermaker grapplers a constant presence in the West Lafayette community and schools.
The 2009-10 season was the greatest example of Hinkel's outstanding leadership as the Boilermakers had their best showing at the Big Ten Conference Championships since 2004, their highest number of NCAA Championship qualifiers over the last decade and the most individual NWCA All-Academic honors in school history. On the strength of seven placewinners, Purdue amassed 76 points at the conference championships and finished sixth in the team standings. All seven Big Ten placers advanced to the national championships, guiding the Old Gold and Black to a 30th-place finish, including 125-pound freshman All-America Cashé Quiroga.
The 2008-09 season resulted in the Boilermakers' best NCAA Championship performance under Hinkel, as they took home a 23rd-place finish with 24.5 team points and Hinkel's first All-American award. Jake Patacsil led Hinkel's start to the program with a fifth-place finish at 149 pounds, becoming Purdue's first All-American since 2004 and starting a series of new marks on the Boilermakers' all-time record books. Hinkel's grapplers have accounted for 14 marks on the single-season record lists and 14 others on the Boilermakers' career record lists. In 2008 he was named Amateur Wrestling News' Top Rookie Coach of the Year.
The academic achievements continue to roll in for the Boilermakers as already earned 14 NWCA All-Academic honors and 40 Academic All-Big Ten honors under Hinkel. Purdue had more NWCA All-Academic award winners than any other conference school in 2011, and in 2010 the Boilermakers' nine academic all-conference honorees were more than any other team in the Big Ten. He has had a pair of NWCA Freshman All-Academic wrestlers in A.J. Kissel (2008) and Cashé Quiroga (2010).
Having solidified his place among Purdue greats on the mat, Hinkel returned to Purdue in 1993 after spending three years teaching physical education and history and serving as the head wrestling coach at East Chicago (Ind.) Central High School. With the school and wrestling program just five years old upon his arrival, Hinkel quickly made an impact on the scene. He coached the school's first state champion in 1993 and guided his team to a fifth-place finish at the Indiana State High School Championships that same year. Hinkel's team compiled a 40-16 dual meet record (.714 winning percentage) during his three-year tenure.
Before heading to the high school ranks, Hinkel spent seven years with the Boilermaker wrestling program, as both student-athlete and coach. He competed for four years, receiving his bachelor's degree from the School of Liberal Arts in 1988, and then became a teacher's assistant in the physical education department. Hinkel served as a volunteer assistant coach in 1989 and as a graduate assistant coach in 1990. Hinkel earned a master's degree in physical education from Purdue in 1990.
As a student-athlete at Purdue, Hinkel earned All-America honors in 1987 at 126 pounds and received Academic All-Big Ten accolades, becoming the first of only two wrestlers in school history to accomplish both in the same season (Tim Dernlan accomplished both in 1998).
Hinkel ranks first in program history in career falls (45) and second in career wins (127). His record of 127-50 (.718) ranks 17th on the career winning percentage list. Hinkel also owns two of the top-20 single-season win totals, registering 36 in 1986-87 and 35 in 1985-86.
As an assistant coach at Purdue, Hinkel worked primarily with wrestlers in the lighter weight classes, assisted with scouting and recruiting and handled a large amount of the correspondence of the wrestling office. He remains active in the recruitment of former Purdue wrestlers for the John Purdue Club as does the entire Boilermaker roster, who added over 100 new members over the last four years.
Hinkel is married to the former Irina Maksimets. The couple has two daughters, Varya and Valentina, and resides in West Lafayette.