Joe Norton, former North Central College wrestler and assistant coach, has returned to his alma mater as head coach, d3wrestle.com, the website specializing in coverage of NCAA Division III wrestling programs, reported Monday.
The news was confirmed by the Naperville, Ill. school on Tuesday afternoon at the official North Central wrestling website.
For the past year, Norton had been head coach at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill. He had succeeded Tony Islas, who had been at the helm of the NCAA Division III wrestling program in western Illinois for 12 years.
Prior to taking the Knox job in 2013, Norton had wrestled at North Central for four years, then served as a graduate assistant at the Naperville, Ill. college for two years.
Norton was a four-year varsity letter winner at North Central from 2006-10. He compiled 94 career victories wrestling for the Cardinals. Norton was also a four-time NCAA regional place winner, a two-time conference runner-up, three-time tournament champion, and seven-time tournament finalist. In addition, Norton, named captain of the wrestling team, was the recipient of the “Hammer Award” in recognition of outstanding commitment and work ethic.
Norton attended Montini Catholic High School in Lombard, Ill. where he was a 2006 All-State selection and an AAU first-team All-American. He concluded his high school career with 102 wins and was the captain of three squads that won state championships.
According to d3wrestle.com, Norton returns to a North Central team that has a national qualifier and four regional placewinners back for the 2014-15 season.
Founded in 1861, North Central College is an independent, four-year private college. Located in west-suburban Chicago, North Central has an enrollment of approximately 3,000 students, according to the school’s website.