COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. – Tony Willaert ’11 was named the head wrestling coach at Saint John’s University, following two seasons as the interim, on Thursday, April 7.
“I am very excited and honored to be the next wrestling coach of the Saint John’s wrestling program,” Willaert said. “I would like to thank the hiring committee and (SJU athletic director) Tom Stock for giving me this opportunity. Now it’s time to get back to work and finish what we started.”
SJU has sent five wrestlers to the NCAA Division III Championships and earned four National Wrestling Coaches’ Association (NWCA) All-America Scholar honors over the past two seasons with Willaert as interim. The Johnnies recorded the 17th-best GPA (3.20) in Division III en route to NWCA All-Academic team honors in 2015-16 and finished 10th the previous year.
Willaert was named the Johnnies’ interim head coach in May 2014, replacing Brandon Novak ’01, after serving as an assistant coach for three seasons.
“Tony has earned this opportunity through his hard work, solid core values, and competitive spirit,” Stock said. “We believe he can return our wrestling program to national prominence.”
He compiled a 74-49 (.602) career record on the mat and was a national entrant, one of a school-record seven, as a senior at 197 pounds in 2010-11.
Willaert is also the head coach of the Central Minnesota Wrestling Club, as part of the Minnesota Storm program, and resides in nearby St. Cloud.