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Mark Matzek resigns as Augsburg head wrestling coach to take hometown job

Former Augsburg College wrestler and coach Mark Matzek
Former Augsburg College wrestler and coach Mark Matzek
Both images courtesy Augsburg College, used with permission

Mark Matzek is leaving the college where he wrestled and coached for more than a decade, to return to his hometown where he once wrestled… to become a high school mat coach.

Matzek is resigning as head wrestling coach at Augsburg College to accept a mathematics teaching position at Ellsworth Middle School and a wrestling coaching position at Ellsworth High in his Wisconsin hometown, Augsburg announced Monday.

The NCAA Division III wrestling power also revealed that top assistant Jim Moulsoff has been named interim head coach for the 2014-15 season, and graduate assistant Tony Valek moving into the top assistant position. Augsburg athletic director Jeff Swenson said a national search for a new head wrestling coach will start immediately.

Matzek joined the Augsburg coaching staff as assistant immediately upon graduating from the Minneapolis-based school in 2005. After three seasons, he was promoted to head coach, a position he held for six seasons. Mousloff became assistant coach six years ago; Valek became a grad assistant two years ago after graduating from Augsburg, according to d3wrestle.com.

With Matzek at the helm, Augsburg continued its reputation as one of the premier small-college wrestling programs in the nation, always finishing among the top ten in the team standings at the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships. The Auggies won the D3 national team title in the 2009-10 season, while finishing second in 2008-09, 2010-11 and 2011-12, fifth in 2013-14 and 10th in 2012-13.

The Matzek era was one of individual accomplishment for Auggie wrestlers as well. In the past six seasons, Augsburg could claim five individual NCAA champs and 30 NCAA All-American honorees. Augsburg squads won NCAA regional titles in each of his six seasons, with 25 individual regional titlists. What’s more, the Auggies recorded a 55-21-1 dual-meet record over the past half-dozen seasons.

Prior to being promoted to head coach at Augsburg, Matzek was an assistant for three seasons, including two as an assistant coach under Jeff Swenson (now athletic director) and one under Sam Barber (now head coach at the US Air Force Academy) in 2007-08.

Matzek’s Augsburg roots run deep, starting as an Auggie wrestler. He was a two-time NCAA Division III champ at 133 pounds in 2004 and 2005, and a three-time All-American. With a 129-21 overall record, Matzek was a member of two national title teams and two national runner-up squads. He graduated with a degree in mathematics and secondary education in 2005.

"I wish Mark and his family the very best as he pursues a new challenge in his life,” said Augsburg AD Swenson. “There is no stronger draw for Mark than going back home and being in the community that he was raised in. I thank Mark for six years of exceptional service to Augsburg College, the athletic program and the wrestling program. His coaching record speaks for itself."

"This is the toughest decision I've ever had to make in my life, because I love both Augsburg and the community I came from," said Matzek. "Having a child in February reinforced my values that I want to have more time with my family, and the best way for me to do that is to teach and coach at Ellsworth.

"It's tough to leave because we have seven starters returning (to Augsburg) this year and with the addition of some great personnel, Augsburg is ready make a run this year,” Matzek continued. “I'm confident, that with the new leadership in place with Jim and Tony, that the student-athletes in the program have nothing to be worried about. I truly believe that the relationships I've had with the people at Augsburg, and the values they have, are what brought me there as an undergrad and kept me there as an employee. It is a great place."