Joe McFarland
Joe  McFarland

Head Coach


Wolverines Add Five to Nationally-Ranked Recruiting Class

Wrestling Adds Five to Nationally-Ranked Recruiting Class


Week #14: Wolverines to Send Seven to NCAA Championships

Wrestling to Send Seven to NCAA Championships


Week #10: U-M to Travel to Hoosier State for Two Big Ten Duals

Wrestling to Travel to Hoosier State for Two Big Ten Duals


Week #7: U-M to Start Big Ten Season with Nebraska, Wisconsin

Wrestling to Start Big Ten Season with Nebraska, Wisconsin


Four Top-20 National Recruits Among Michigan's Early Signing Class

Four Top-20 National Recruits Among Wrestling's Early Signing Class


Maize & Blue News Now

A look back at weekend action for Michigan football, ice hockey, women's soccer, field hockey, volleyball, women's basketball and wrestling.


Getting to Know Coach McFarland

U-M head coach Joe McFarland sits down in this Q&A interview (July 26, 2013).


Joe McFarland Interview - Pre Iowa

Head coach Joe McFarland a day prior to the Wolverines' home meet against No. 4 Iowa.


Wrestling Blanks Olivet in Season Opener

No. 13 U-M earned bonus points in nine matches, including pins at 149 (Eric Grajales), 165 (Taylor Massa) and 174 (Dan Yates) pounds, to roll to a 46-0 shutout win in its season opener against Olivet.

Joe McFarland is in his 18th season as head wrestling coach at the University of Michigan, where he has lifted the Maize and Blue to the upper tier of collegiate wrestling.

Since taking over the reigns in 1999, McFarland has helped mold Michigan into a highly-touted national contender, guiding the U-M wrestling squad to three Big Ten dual-meet championships (2004, '05, '06) and nine top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships (2001-08, '16) -- including an NCAA runner-up performance in 2005 -- under his leadership. He ranks third on Michigan's head coaching career wins list (195) under legendary head coach Cliff Keen (1926-42, '46-70) and his own collegiate coach, Dale Bahr (1979-99).

In the Wolverine wrestling room, McFarland has led 28 different student-athletes to five NCAA individual titles, 52 All-America citations and 17 Big Ten individual crowns. Among McFarland's most decorated pupils are two-time NCAA champion and four-time Big Ten champion Kellen Russell (2008-09, '11-12), two-time NCAA champion and four-time All-American Ryan Bertin (2002-05), NCAA champion and three-time All-American Steve Luke (2006-09), four-time All-American Eric Tannenbaum (2005-08) and three-time All-Americans Otto Olson (1997, '99-2002), Andy Hrovat (1999-2002), Ryan Churella (2003-06), Greg Wagner (2003-06), Josh Churella (2005-08) and Tyrel Todd (2006-09).

With his emphasis on academics, Michigan wrestlers have also earned numerous academic honors, including 38 individual distinctions by the National Wrestling Coaches Association and 131 by the Big Ten Conference. U-M has twice ranked among the top 10 both the final NCAA Championships and NWCA All-Academic team standings in the same season.

McFarland is the ninth coach to direct the Wolverine wrestling program and moved into the top spot on April 1, 1999, after working seven seasons as an assistant coach under Bahr. He was named the National Wrestling Coaches Association's Assistant Coach of the Year in 1994.

Formerly the head wrestling coach at Indiana University (1990-92), McFarland produced one of the most impressive first-year improvements in Big Ten Conference history when he guided the Hoosiers to a perfect 14-0 dual meet record in 1989-90, the program's first undefeated season since 1946. IU placed eighth at the NCAA Championships that season and claimed runner-up honors at the Big Ten Championships. Indiana was also the only unbeaten team in NCAA Division I in 1989-90 and reached the No. 5 national ranking in the final dual-meet listing by Amateur Wrestling News. McFarland produced three All-Americans and three Big Ten champions and was named the 1990 Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year. He still lists as the only rookie coach to earn the prestigious honor since the award's inaugural year in 1988. He was also named Amateur Wrestling News' recipient of the 1990 national "Rookie Coach of the Year" award.

As a Wolverine wrestler (1981-82, 1984-85), McFarland compiled one of the most impressive careers in the program's history. His 166-24-4 career record ranks third only to John Fisher (183 wins) and Otto Olson (175), while his 48 wins during the 1983-84 season are the most recorded by a Michigan wrestler in a single season. He was a four-time NCAA All-American and a two-time NCAA finalist at 126 pounds (1984, '85). He finished fifth (1981) and sixth (1982) in his first two national championship appearances. Serving team captain in each of his final two seasons, McFarland helped lead the Wolverines to a fifth-place finish at the 1985 NCAA Championships.

McFarland is one of only six Michigan wrestlers to earn All-America honors in each of his four seasons, and, at the time of his accomplishment, was only the 27th wrestler in NCAA Division I wrestling history to achieve such distinction. His 18-7 career record is tied for fourth at U-M for most wins at the NCAA Championships. McFarland won the Big Ten crown in 1984, and reached the conference finals all four seasons. McFarland also won the prestigious Midlands Championship in 1982 and 1983.

After completing his Michigan eligibility, McFarland embarked on a successful international wrestling career. He was the silver medalist at the 1986 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. McFarland captured the 1987 Tblisi Tournament bronze medal before winning the 1988 World Cup Championship, where he defeated the Soviet Union's World Champion Hazar Isiev in the gold-medal match. McFarland was also named the Outstanding Wrestler of the 1988 USA-USSR dual meet in Orlando, Fla.

A graduate of North Olmstead High School, McFarland was a two-time Ohio state champion prior to his arrival in Ann Arbor. He earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan in 1985. McFarland resides in Whitmore Lake with his wife, Linda.

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