Needham goes full time at UW-Lax

Head ShotThe University of Wisconsin-La Crosse has named Ross Needham as the full time equipment manager/assistant wrestling coach. Needham, a 2x All-American for the Eagles, had previously been a part time assistant for the 2011 and 2012 seasons. See the full release from UW-La Crosse below.

Needham named to full-time position

La Crosse, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Athletic Department has named Ross Needham as its equipment manager and assistant wrestling coach.  He has served as a part-time assistant wrestling coach for the Eagles the last two seasons.

“What a great time to be a part of UW-L athletics,” says Needham. “I am excited for the opportunity to be around a group of dedicated coaches and athletes.  The equipment room has always done good work and I look forward to the challenge of developing improved systems and finding ways to help both coaches and athletes be successful.”

Needham has served as an assistant wrestling coach at UW-L since 2010, helping lead the Eagles to a Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) title in 2011 and two top-four finishes at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Championships.  UW-L placed third at the 2011 national meet and fourth in 2012, both held at the La Crosse Center.

“UW-L wrestling is in a great place right now with experienced upper classmen with good leadership and a group of young guys looking to make an impact right away,” says Needham.  “I am grateful for the opportunity to be on campus and work with the guys more.  Coach Malecek (UW-L head wrestling coach) is a top-notch coach, but even a better person.  Working right along side him, I know I will become a better coach, father, and husband.  My wife and two sons are really excited to be a part of this UW-L family.”

Needham was the head wrestling coach at Holmen (Wis.) High School for three years (2007-10) prior to coming to UW-L.  The Vikings went 30-11 in duals under Needham and advanced to the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) State Tournament in 2010.  Holmen had eight state qualifiers during Needham’s tenure.

He also taught math and coached football at Holmen Middle School.  He served as the varsity reserve baseball coach for one year and was the summer strength and conditioning coach for three years at Holmen High School.

A 2007 graduate of UW-L with a bachelor’s degree in elementary and middle level education and minor in mathematics, Needham earned two NCAA Division III All-America wrestling honors for the Eagles.  He placed third in 2006 and fourth in 2007 at 157-pounds at the national championships.  Needham was also a national qualifier in 2005.  He won three 157-pound titles at the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Championships (2005, 2006, 2007) and finished his career with a record of 109-41.  Needham is tied for 12th in school history in victories.

“I am so excited to have Ross on campus full-time,” says UW-L head coach Dave Malecek.  “This is the first time in school history we have had a University supported position for an assistant wrestling coach.  UW-L has been successful in the past, but we were missing the needed help to run the day-to-day operations and recruiting responsibilities for the program.  This hiring will help our current and future student-athletes reach their goals and help us continue to strive for winning championships.”

Named to the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) Academic All-America Team four times (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007), Needham was a state champion at Marshfield (Wis.) High School.

“Ross was a two-time All America for UW-L with a very energetic and hard nose wrestling style and he brings those same attributes to his coaching,” adds Malecek.  “He has improved over the past two years in his recruiting and coaching skills and I look forward to what he will be able to contribute while being on campus full-time.”