MINNEAPOLIS — Augsburg University men’s wrestling head coach Tony Valek ’12 has been named as the 2022-23 NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year by The Open Mat, an amateur wrestling website, it was announced on Tuesday.
Earlier this month, Valek led the Auggie men’s wrestling team to its 14th NCAA Division III national championship in program history, with an individual national titlist and seven All-Americans. The Auggies won the national title with 101.0 points, outdistancing second-place Wartburg (Iowa) by 34.5 points. In February, the Auggies claimed the NCAA Division III Upper Midwest Regional title, qualifying eight wrestlers to the national championships. The Auggies finished 9-1 in dual meets this season, winning the National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III National Duals title for the eighth time in school history in January.
A 2012 Augsburg alumnus, Valek was named the 11th head coach in the history of the Augsburg University men’s wrestling program in the summer of 2019, joining Jim Moulsoff as a co-head coach. He was named the solo head coach prior to the 2022-23 season. The 2022-23 season was Valek’s 11th on the Augsburg coaching staff, serving as a graduate assistant coach from 2012-14, assistant coach in 2014-15, and associate head coach from 2015-19. During his Augsburg coaching tenure, Valek was a part of the 2014-15, 2018-19 and 2022-23 national title squads and national runner-up squads in 2016-17 and 2017-18, with 56 All-Americans (43 NCAA, 13 NWCA) and 11 national champions. Augsburg is 96-29 in dual meets in Valek’s 11 seasons on the staff, 23-5 as head coach.
As an assistant coach, Valek earned NWCA 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, and was named NWCA Upper Midwest Region Coach of the Year in 2022-23.
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 highest cumulative grade-point average. He earned NWCA Scholar All-America honors in 2010, 2011 and 2012, and earned College Sports Communicators (formerly 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 in arts of leadership at Augsburg in 2014.
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