FOREST GROVE – Pacific University Director of Athletics Ken Schumann has announced that Severin Walsh will become the next head coach of the Pacific men’s and women’s wrestling program.
Walsh comes to Pacific after two seasons as the top graduate assistant coach at St. Cloud State University, a NCAA Division II program in St. Cloud, Minn. Walsh replaces Scott Miller, who announced his retirement from coaching in March after six years leading the Boxers. Walsh is the ninth coach in the history of the program.
“I am honored that I was chosen to be the next coach,” Walsh said. “I would like to thank President (Phil) Creighton and Ken Schumann for hiring me. It means a lot to me that they have the confidence in me to take on the position. Pacific has a storied program and I have known about and the institution for a long time. I have had a lot of respect for the program and I am honored that they have chosen me to carry on that tradition of wrestling at Pacific. I look forward to being a part of the Boxer family.”
Walsh, a native of Washington state, was selected after a nationwide search that saw finalists chosen from every corner of the United States. “Sev rose to the top as the best fit for our athletic department and our wrestling program,” Schumann said. “I am happy to welcome Sev to our team and expect a high level of success over the years to come.”
Walsh has spent the last two seasons as the top graduate assistant coach at St. Cloud State. During his tenure, Walsh has helped lead eight Huskies’ wrestlers to NCAA Division II national tournament berths. During the 2006-07 season, the Huskies finished 12th at the NCAA Division II Championships and set a new school record with 13 dual meet victories. The Huskies also finished 12th at the 2008 championships.
As coordinator of St. Cloud State’s academic efforts, Walsh saw the Huskies rank as one of the top academic programs at the Division II level. The 2007-08 team finished with a cumulative 3.2 grade point average, eighth best among NCAA Division II wrestling teams, and saw John Sundgren, Westy Hanson and Matt Jackson earn Division II All-Academic honors.
Prior to arriving at St. Cloud State, Walsh spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Dana College, a successful NAIA program in Blair, Neb. At Dana, Walsh helped coach the Vikings to a fourth place nationals finish in 2005 and the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NCWA) national dual championship and NAIA national championship in 2006. In addition, Dana’s 2006 team boasted the top non-Division I recruiting class in the nation.
Walsh began his coaching career at William Penn University in Oskaloosa, Iowa, where he helped lead the Statesmen to a pair of NAIA Central Region championships, an 11th place NAIA National Tournament finish in 2003 and a sixth place finish in 2004.
Walsh said he is grateful to those in his past who have helped him in the coaching ranks over the years. “(St. Cloud State Coach Steve) Costanzo and (William Penn Coach Gary) Garvis have been great mentors to me,” Walsh said. “I cannot thank them enough for their mentorship over the years and their help in becoming the coach at Pacific.”
A 1995 Washington high school state champion, Walsh wrestled two seasons for Yakima Valley Community College before transferring to William Penn. He was the 2002 NAIA Central Region champion at 285 pounds and competed in the 2002 NAIA National Championships.
A native of Coulee City, Wash., Walsh earned his Bachelor’s degree in wellness and recreation from William Penn in 2004 and a teaching certification from Dana in 2006. He is currently completing his Master’s degree at St. Cloud State in physical education. Walsh and his wife, Annette, are the proud parents of a newborn son, Ezekiel, who was born in March.