Churella Elevated to Wrestling Assistant Coach Position
Wrestling to Face Ranked Foes CMU, Pitt This Week
Wrestling to Open Season Thursday at Home vs. Olivet
Wrestling Adds Churella to Coaching Staff
Josh Churella is in his third season as an assistant coach for the University of Michigan wrestling program after being promoted to the full-time staff in May 2014. A three-time NCAA All-American at U-M, Churella previously spent two years on the Michigan staff as volunteer coach (2013-14).
In his four seasons on the U-M coaching staff, Churella has assisted with the program's day-to-day operations, including practice planning, match preparation, event and clinic promotion and individual technique assistance. He is also active in the Wolverine practice room as an everyday workout partner, working primarily with the middleweights, including All-Americans Steve Dutton, Eric Grajales, Brian Murphy and Alec Pantaleo.
As a Wolverine wrestler (2005-08), Churella wrapped up his collegiate career with a 124-21 record -- ranking 16th among Michigan's all-time wins leaders -- and three All-America citations. He boasted a career-best 31-5 record during his junior season; the same year he advanced to the 149-pound final at the NCAA Championships. Churella began his career at 141 pounds, where he won a Big Ten title and earned All-America honors as a freshman.
Over Churella's competitive career at Michigan, the Wolverines were a regular fixture among the national level with top-10 showings at the NCAA Championships in each of his four seasons, including a runner-up finish in 2005. Michigan also claimed two Big Ten dual-meet titles in his first two seasons.
After his graduation, Churella enjoyed a successful freestyle career. He was a three-year freestyle national team member at 66kg/145.5 pounds after twice placing third at the World Team Trials (2010, '11) and, most recently, at the 2012 Olympic Team Trials. He was the runner-up at the 2010 U.S. Open and captured a medal at several international tournaments, including the NYAC International Open (gold, 2009) and Cuba's Cerro Pelado Tournament (bronze, 2010).
Crossing two generations, the Churella family combined for 10 All-America citations during illustrious careers at Michigan. Josh's father, Mark Sr. (1976-79), was a three-time NCAA champion and four-time All-American, while his brother, Ryan (2003-06), garnered three All-America distinctions, reaching the 165-pound final as a senior (2006). Eldest brother, Mark Jr., earned a varsity letter at Michigan in 2001.
Originally from Northville, Mich., Churella earned his bachelor's degree in sport management from Michigan in 2008. He currently lives in Ann Arbor with his wife, Carlee, and son, Cruz.