Augsburg Preview

Augsburg College Auggies
Head Coach: Mark Matzek
Years at School as head coach: 4th year
Career Record at school: 31-7-1, NCAA 2nd twice, 1st once
Assistant Coaches: Jim Moulsoff, Ryan Stroud, Jamell Tidwell, Jon Priess, Jared Massey, Aaron Fuller

2010-2011 Dual Meet Record: 8-5-1
2010-2011 National Qualifiers and All-Americans:  Tony Valek (2nd at 149), Orlando Ponce (2nd at 157), Zach Molitor (1st at 174), Jared Massey (2nd at 197), Chad Johnson (7th at 285)
Returning Qualifiers and All-Americans: Valek (2x finalist), Ponce (2x finalist), Johnson

Top returning starters:
Tossaporn Suparat (133) JR 22-15
Will Keeter (141) SO 26-19
Tony Valek (149) 2x NCAA finalist
Orlando Ponce (157) 2x NCAA finalist
Brandon Bahr (165) SR 33-15
Brad Baus (197) 30-12
Chad Johnson (285) 7th NCAA

Top incoming wrestlers:
Matt Hechsel (184) FR – 2X State Placer for Apple Valley, MN
Joshua Vaughan (184) FR – State Placer for Bloomington-Kennedy, MN
Caleb Davis (184) FR – State Champion for Couer de Lane, ID
Chad Bartschenfeld (125) FR – State Champion for Amery, WI
Tom Kuehn (133) FR – 4X State Placer for West Fargo, ND
Kurt Knutsen (157) FR – State Runner-up for Simley, MN
Zach Riester (157) FR – State Placer for Ellsworth, WI
Daniel Egesdal (149) FR – State Placer for Chaska, MN

Season outlook:
In his three years leading the Augsburg team after taking over for Jeff Swenson, Mark Matzek’s squad has never finished in less than second place. With three returning All-Americans, including a pair of finalists in Ponce and Valek, he is on track to pull off that feat for a fourth straight year. No team matched Augsburg’s four finalists last year, and having two fo them back bodes well for the future, even if Ponce will only be wrestling in the second semester. Joining Valek and Ponce as a returning All-American is sophomore Chad Johnson who finished 7th at a 285 weight class that graduated its top three finishers from last year. It will be tough to replace national champions Jared Massey and Zach Molitor, but Augsburg has proven that it can successfully reload. A freshman class laden with state placewinners is as good an indication of that as anything, and the 2011-2012 season begins the way most do for the Auggies: in the discussion of favorites to win the NCAA championship.