Head Coach Tony Valek Leads Mens Wrestling to Another NCAA Title
Bobbi Jo Evers, staff writer
It’s always a great day to be an Auggie, especially when winning a championship is on the table. When it’s the Auggie wrestling team, you can rest assured that the title will be theirs. Picture it—March 11, Roanoke, Virginia. The men’s wrestling team has just won their 14th NCAA Division III national championship in school history. In dual meets this season, the Auggies finished 9-1, winning the National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III National Duals title for the eighth time in school history in January. With a total of 101 points, the Auggies took the cake, beating the second place Wartburg College by 34.5 points. Junior Sam Stuhl, earning an individual national title, helped lead the Auggies to this victory. Entering the tournament, Augsburg was nationally ranked at number three from a poll by the NCAA Division III, but they certainly didn’t let that keep them from pushing it to the next level.
Not only did the Auggies dominate at nationals but they also earned seven All-American spots. Junior Tyler Kim, a three-time All-American, finished third at 285 pounds. In his college career he is now 107-21 all time. Junior Bentley Schwanebeck-Ostermann finished in fourth place, now 82-28 in his college career. Competing in his first national tournament, freshman Cooper Willis finished in fifth place, with his first college campaign ending with a 32-9 record. Seth Goetzinger, also competing in his first national tournament as a 174-pound sophomore, finished in seventh place. Goetzinger finished the season 28-9, with his career being 42-15. Sophomore Charlie Stuhl, at 149 pounds, finished in eighth place. He is now 66-22 in his collegiate career. Not only does this team excel, but behind every great team is a great coach, theirs being Head Coach Tony Valek.
Tony Valek was named the 11th head coach in the history of the Augsburg Mens Wrestling program, joining Jim Moulsoff as a co-head coach in 2019. Valek is an Augsburg alumnus who graduated in 2012. He was the team’s sole head coach for the 2022-23 season. This season is his 11th season on the coaching staff, working his way up the ranks to his head coach position. Valek earned NWCA Division III Region Assistant Coach of the Year honors five times as an assistant coach. Coach Valek has been named as the 2022-23 NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year, so clearly he is an essential part in the unity within the men’s wrestling team.
Wrestling fans have much to look forward to in the next season, as it is clear that the Auggies will not be letting up any time soon. With another victory under their belt, their top notch coach and the support from their friends, peers and families, the wrestlers will head into the next season ready to dominate once again. If you’d like to check out more information on our Auggie men’s wrestlers, please check out their Augsburg Athletics page.