Following a season that featured three All-Americans and five national qualifiers, the Rutgers wrestling team has now hired former national champion and the Scarlet Knights’ all-time wins leader, Anthony Ashnault, as assistant coach.
The hire was announced by head wrestling coach Scott Goodale on Tuesday.
"I could not be more excited for (Ashnault) to join our staff," Goodale said. "Bringing (Ashnault) back to coach has been our vision for a long time, and I believe he has an incredible future in this sport as a coach and leader."
In his stint as a student-athlete at Rutgers, Ashnault posted 123 wins between 2014 and 2019, a record that has yet to be broken.
Other accolades achieved include four All-American selections, three Big Ten individual titles and an undefeated 2018-2019 season that was capped off by a first-place finish for the Knights at the 2019 NCAA Championships.
"I am really excited to start a new venture in my career and return home to Rutgers," Ashnault said. “It is an honor to accept this job and to be able to give back to those who are pursuing the same type of dreams I was able to accomplish here.”
Having graduated from Rutgers with both a bachelor’s degree in planning and public policy as well as a master’s in global sports business, Ashnault currently works as a representative for USA Wrestling.
In just the past month, Ashnault competed at the 2021 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Fort Worth, Texas. He wrestled as the No. 8 seed, where he finished 1-2, defeating NCAA Champion Nick Suriano to reach the quarterfinals.
Ashnault will now be looking to bring his championship pedigree to the Knights, who are trying to build off of a historic sefason. Notable wrestlers who will be returning in 2021 include freshman 184-pounder John Poznanski, sophomore 133-pounder Sammy Alvarez, sophomore 174-pounder Jackson Turley and sophomore 197-pounder Billy Janzer.
Poznanski, Turley and Janzer were all amongst Rutgers’ five national qualifiers, with Poznanski being a third-place finisher at the national championships in St. Louis, Missouri.
The Knights also gained transfers — graduate student 197-pounder Greg Bulsak and sophomore 133-pounder Nicholas Raimo in April. Bulsak was a national qualifier in 2021, ranking as the No. 14 seed in the 197 pounds division, while Raimo helped Arizona State produce a dual victory over Northern Iowa.
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