Augsburg men’s wrestling announces organizational changes

MINNEAPOLIS — The 13-time NCAA Division III national champion Augsburg University men’s wrestling team has announced organizational changes in its coaching staff, with three-time Auggie All-American Tony Valek ’12 assuming solo head coaching duties, and longtime coach Jim Moulsoff assuming associate head coach duties.

Valek and Moulsoff have served as co-head coaches for the past three seasons, with Moulsoff serving as head coach from 2014-19. Moulsoff has been on the Augsburg coaching staff for 15 seasons, while Valek has been on the coaching staff for nine years. Valek served as associate head coach under Moulsoff from 2015-19. The pair have been a part of six top-five finishes in NCAA Division III national competition since 2015, winning team national championships in 2015 and 2019, finishing second in 2017 and 2018, and finishing fifth in 2016. The Auggies finished third at the 2022 national championships.

The head coaching transition has been planned since 2018, according to Augsburg Athletic Director Jeff Swenson ’79, who led the Auggie men’s wrestling program to 10 national titles in his 25-season tenure (1980-94, 1986-2007) as head coach. Valek and Moulsoff were named co-head coaches in the 2019-20 season.

“When they came to me in the summer of 2018 with this plan, I thought it was a great way to transition Tony to a head coaching role, as Jim still would be involved significantly as the associate head coach,” Swenson said. “Jim and Tony are a proven great team together, winning national titles both on the mat and academically. In true ‘Jim fashion,’ he’s always thinking of other people before himself, and wants Tony to have a chance to continue his great leadership of the program.”

Moulsoff will remain a vital part of Augsburg’s team and individual success in his new role as associate head coach. The 2022-23 season will be Moulsoff’s 16th on the Augsburg coaching staff. During his Augsburg coaching tenure, Moulsoff was a part of the 2009-10, 2014-15, and 2018-19 national title squads and national runner-up squads five times, with 79 All-Americans (66 NCAA, 13 NWCA) and 14 national champions. Augsburg is 138-40-1 in dual meets in Moulsoff’s tenure on the staff, 73-17 as head coach.

“I am excited for Augsburg wrestling and Tony,” Moulsoff said. “We have a great group of motivated guys in the room. I’m looking forward to future working with Coach Valek and helping this team achieve their goals academically and athletically. Tony is ready to lead this historic program. I plan to be with the program as an associate head coach for many years into the future.”

In addition to his success on the mat, Mousloff has guided the Auggies to success in the classroom. Augsburg has finished among the top 20 teams in the NWCA’s Scholar All-America team standings seven times since 2015, including the academic national title with a 3.879 team GPA in 2021-22. Augsburg men’s wrestlers have earned 60 NWCA Scholar All-America individual honors since 2015.

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. In 2018-19, Moulsoff earned Division III National Coach of the Year honors and earned NWCA Division III National Tournament Coach of the Year honors in both 2015 and 2019, and Rookie Coach of the Year honors in 2015. He also earned West Region Coach of the Year honors three times, and Upper Midwest Region Co-Coach of the Year honors three times. In 2013-14, Moulsoff was named West Region Assistant Coach of the Year by his coaching peers.

Prior to joining the Auggie staff, Moulsoff spent 15 years as head coach of the Minnehaha Academy High School wrestling program (1993-2008). 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.

The 11th head coach in the history of Augsburg’s men’s wrestling program, Valek served as a graduate assistant coach from 2012-14, assistant coach in 2014-15, and associate head coach from 2015-19, before joining Moulsoff as co-head coach. During his Augsburg coaching tenure, Valek was a part of the 2014-15 and 2018-19 national title squads and national runner-up squads twice, with 49 All-Americans (36 NCAA, 13 NWCA) and 10 national champions. Augsburg is 87-28 in dual meets in Valek’s eight seasons on the staff, 14-4 as head coach.

In addition to his wrestling coaching responsibilities, Valek also serves as finance and budget director for the Augsburg athletic department.

“I am extremely humbled and honored to be named the head coach of the Augsburg men’s wrestling program. Augsburg has been my home for the last 14 years as a student-athlete, graduate fellow, assistant coach, co-head coach, and now head coach. I’ve been blessed to have great mentors in Jeff Swenson, Jim Moulsoff and Mark Matzek. I’ve learned so much coaching alongside Coach Moulsoff and look forward to continuing to work with him as we add to the tremendous Augsburg legacy,” Valek said.

“Coach Moulsoff continues to be one of the most liked and respected coaches in NCAA wrestling, and I am very appreciative of our partnership,” Valek added. “We plan on continuing the momentum we have created together. Our No. 1 goal is to develop confident, mature young men who are going to go out and be successful in everything they do. We use wrestling as the tool and motivator during one of the most influential times of their lives.”

Academically, Augsburg finished ninth in the NWCA Scholar All-America team national standings in 2020 and won the academic team national title in 2022, and 27 Auggies have earned NWCA Scholar All-America individual honors since 2020.

As an assistant coach, Valek earned National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III Region Assistant Coach of the Year honors five times. He was named NWCA National Assistant Coach of the Year in the 2014-15 season. He was named NWCA Upper Midwest Region Co-Coach of the Year in 2019-20.

As an Augsburg wrestler, Valek had a 136-25 career record, with 87 bonus-point victories (60 pins, six technical falls, 21 major decisions). He qualified for the NCAA Division III national championships all four seasons, earning All-American honors three times. He was a two-time national runner-up at 149 pounds (2010, 2011) and placed third in 2012. He earned NCAA Division III Great Lakes Regional titles in both 2010 and 2012.

Academically, Valek was named the winner of the NCAA Elite 89 Award at the 2012 national championships, as the student-athlete competing with the highest cumulative grade-point average. He earned NWCA Scholar All-America honors in 2010, 2011, and 2012, and earned College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Division III Academic All-America first-team honors and Academic All-District honors in both 2011 and 2012. Valek received his bachelor’s degree in accounting and business management from Augsburg in 2012 and completed his master’s in arts of leadership at Augsburg in 2014.

In addition to the head coaching changes, Augsburg alumnus Justin Koob ’12, an assistant coach since 2017, will serve as the top assistant coach on the staff, leading the team’s recruiting efforts with Valek and Moulsoff.

“I’m also excited about the continued expansion of Justin Koob’s role within the program and the passion he brings to the sport of wrestling,” Valek said. “He and the other assistant coaches make such a big impact on our student-athletes and are a huge part of our team’s lofty goals. Our goal is to be the first team in NCAA Division III wrestling history to win the NCAA team championship and the NWCA academic team championship in the same year. I believe we have a group of student-athletes and coaches that are capable of accomplishing that goal in 2022-23.”

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