Ryan Churella begins his first season as the Wolverines' volunteer coach after serving three years on staff in various positions, including video coordinator and director of wrestling operations.
As a Wolverine wrestler (2003-06), Churella was a three-time NCAA All-American and Big Ten Conference champion at 149 and 165 pounds, just the eighth Wolverine in program history to accomplish such a task. In his final season at Michigan, Churella posted a near-perfect 29-1 record and advanced to the 165-pound final at the NCAA Championships. His 117-18 career record places him sixth in the U-M record book for career winning percentage (.867) and 17th in career wins. He also ranks ninth among the all-time pin leaders with 35 career falls.
After graduating from Michigan, Churella completed a successful three-year run in the 74 kg/163-pound freestyle division, earning consecutive top-four finishes at the U.S. Senior Nationals (2008, '09) and posting similar performances at the 2008 Olympic Trials (fourth) and 2009 World Team Trials (third). Churella also captured gold medals at the 2007 Henri Deglane Challenge and 2008 Canada Open.
Crossing two generations, the Churella family combined for 10 All-America citations during illustrious careers at Michigan. Ryan's father, Mark Sr. (1976-79), was a three-time NCAA champion and four-time All-American, while his brother, Josh (2005-08), garnered three All-America distinctions, reaching the 149-pound finals as a junior (2007). Eldest brother, Mark Jr., earned a varsity letter at Michigan in 2001.
Originally from Northville, Mich., Churella was a Senior High School National champion (2001) and a two-time state champion at Novi High school. Churella earned his bachelor's degree from Michigan in 2006. He currently lives in Ann Arbor.