MINNEAPOLIS – Mark Matzek, who led the Augsburg College wrestling program to top-10 national tournament finishes in each of his six years as head coach, has announced his resignation, college officials said on Monday.
A 2005 Augsburg alumnus, Matzek is returning to his hometown of Ellsworth, Wis., where he will become a mathematics teacher at Ellsworth Middle School, pending the Ellsworth School Board’s approval. Matzek will also serve as a coach at the high school level.
Jim Moulsoff, who has served as an assistant coach on Matzek’s staff for six seasons, will serve as interim head coach during the 2014-15 season, while a national coaching search takes place, said Augsburg Athletic Director Jeff Swenson. Moulsoff will be the 10th head coach in the history of the Augsburg wrestling program.
In addition, Tony Valek, a 2012 Augsburg alumnus who has served as an assistant coach in the Augsburg graduate fellowship program for the past two seasons, will move into Moulsoff’s former role as the team’s top assistant coach, also on an interim basis for the 2014-15 season.
“I wish Mark and his family the very best as he pursues a new challenge in his life. There is no stronger draw for Mark than going back home and being in the community that he was raised in,” Swenson said. “I thank Mark for six years of exceptional service to Augsburg College, the athletic program and the wrestling program. His coaching record speaks for itself.”
Under Matzek’s leadership, Augsburg continued its reputation as one of the top small-college wrestling programs in the nation. The Auggies won the NCAA Division III national title in the 2009-10 season, while finishing second in 2008-09, 2010-11 and 2011-12, fifth in 2013-14 and 10th in 2012-13.
Augsburg wrestlers earned 30 All-American honors and five individual national championships during Matzek’s tenure as head coach. Augsburg squads won NCAA regional titles in each of his six seasons, with 25 individual regional titlists. The Auggies recorded a 55-21-1 dual-meet record over the past six seasons.
Academically, Matzek’s teams finished in the top 10 in the National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III Scholar All-America Team listing each of the last three seasons, including earning the academic national title in 2011-12 with a 3.7341 team grade-point average. Auggie wrestlers earned 22 NWCA Scholar All-America honors and two Capital One Academic All-America (CoSIDA) honors in Matzek’s six seasons as head coach.
“This is the toughest decision I’ve ever had to make in my life, because I love both Augsburg and the community I came from,” said Matzek. “Having a child in February reinforced my values that I want to have more time with my family, and the best way for me to do that is to teach and coach at Ellsworth.
“It’s tough to leave because we have seven starters returning (to Augsburg) this year and with the addition of some great personnel, Augsburg is ready make a run this year. I’m confident, that with the new leadership in place with Jim and Tony, that the student-athletes in the program have nothing to be worried about. I truly believe that the relationships I’ve had with the people at Augsburg, and the values they have, are what brought me there as an undergrad and kept me there as an employee. It is a great place.”
Matzek served on the Augsburg wrestling coaching staff for nine seasons, including two as an assistant coach under Swenson and one under Sam Barber in 2007-08. As an assistant coach, Matzek was a part of Auggie squads that won the national title in 2006-07 and finished third in both 2005-06 and 2007-08. In his nine seasons on the Augsburg staff, the Auggies claimed 50 All-Americans and nine individual national championships, while going 82-27-1 in dual meets.
Matzek was one of the top lightweight wrestlers in Augsburg history. He earned 133-pound All-American honors three times and won national titles twice in his career, finishing with a 129-21 record. In 2002-03, he finished fourth nationally with a 40-7 record, then won his first national title in the 2003-04 season, finishing 35-4. He finished his career with a 42-match winning streak, which included a 34-0 mark in his senior season as he repeated as national champion — joining a select group of nine Auggie wrestlers in school history to win multiple national championships. He was a part of two national title teams and two national runner-up squads.
Academically, Matzek was a three-time NWCA Scholar All-American, a CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree three times, and a CoSIDA Academic All-America first-team selection in 2005. He was named an Augsburg Honor Athlete in 2005. He was a mathematics and secondary education major at Augsburg.
Moulsoff is a well-known figure in Minnesota’s wrestling community, having served as a high school coach for 18 seasons before joining the Augsburg coaching staff in 2008. He was promoted to a full-time assistant coaching position prior to the 2010-11 season, serving as the top assistant coach on the Augsburg staff. He also is the director of the James Haglund Family Fitness and Recreation Center in the Augsburg Athletic Department.
In 2013-14, Moulsoff was named West Region Assistant Coach of the Year by his coaching peers during the NCAA West Regional at Augsburg.
“I’m very humbled and honored to have the opportunity to lead such a historic program. We’ve got a lot of good pieces in place, because of the work that Mark has done. I’d like to thank Mark for the opportunity to work with him,” Moulsoff said. “The future looks very positive. Mark did great work with the program behind the scenes, and we hope to continue that work. We are looking forward to working with the coaching staff and the entire athletic department. We have a great recruiting class coming in, and we have a great group of athletes returning to the program.”
Prior to joining the Auggie staff, Moulsoff spent 15 years as head coach of the Minnehaha Academy High School wrestling program (1993-2008). In the 2002-03 season, Moulsoff led the Redhawk program to a 12-5 dual meet record and earned the Metro Alliance Conference Coach of the Year honors. He was an assistant coach at Whapeton (N.D.) High School from 1990-93.
In addition to his experience at the high school level, Moulsoff has been active as a coach in many levels of amateur wrestling and has served as the cadet director for Minnesota/USA Wrestling.
A native of Breckenridge, Minn., Moulsoff wrestled competitively at the North Dakota State College of Science from 1981-83, and earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota in 2003.
Valek was a three-time All-American and four-time national tournament qualifier during his Augsburg career, finishing with a 136-25 record, including 87 bonus-point victories (60 pins, six technical falls, 21 major decisions). He was a national runner-up at 149 pounds in both 2010-11 and 2009-10, while finishing third in 2011-12.
Valek was a top performer in the classroom as well, as he was named to the Capital One Academic All-America men’s at-large first team twice during his four-year career. He earned NWCA Division III Scholar All-America honors his final three seasons, and was named as the recipient of the NCAA Elite 89 Award as the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average at the 2012 NCAA Division III Wrestling National Championships.
Valek was the first Augsburg student-athlete ever to be named as a first-team CoSIDA Academic All-America honoree twice. A native of Belle Plaine, Minn., Valek graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and management from Augsburg in 2012. Valek is currently pursuing a master’s degree in leadership at Augsburg.
“As we embark on a new era for Augsburg wrestling, I am confident that we have the perfect duo in Jim Moulsoff and Tony Valek to lead us through this transition.” Swenson said. “Jim has a proven track record in coaching at all levels, and has earned the respect of all the student-athletes he has touched. This past season, Jim was named West Region Assistant Coach of the Year. We are fortunate to have Jim as our interim head coach, as he is an excellent coach, leader and person. In his short time at Augsburg as an assistant coach, Tony has shown that he is a great leader on and off the mat. As a NCAA Elite 89 award-winner and three-time All-American, he has demonstrated the ability to get the job done in all facets of his life and is a great leader by example.”