July 10, 2012
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan wrestling head coach Joe McFarland announced Tuesday (July 10) the addition of Josh Churella to the coaching staff. Churella, a three-time NCAA All-American at Michigan (2005-08), will serve as the Wolverines' volunteer coach.
"We're excited to add Josh to our coaching staff," said McFarland. "He loves Michigan wrestling, and he loves coaching. So, I know he's excited to begin this chapter of his career. It's important to keep that young enthusiasm on your staff and in your program, and he really brings a lot of it. Over the last several years, he's done very well in freestyle and continued to develop as a wrestler. Those experiences, in training and in competition, will serve him well as a coach. He will be great both in the practice room and in the corner."
"I have always wanted to coach," said Churella, "and I am excited to begin the transition from competing full time and selfishly putting all my energy into that over the last four years to having the opportunity to give back and help our young guys develop into champions. It's a privilege to start out under Joe, Sean [Bormet] and Donny [Pritzlaff], who are unquestionably three of the best coaches in the country. I'm looking forward to learning a lot from them, seeing how it's done and drawing from each of their coaching styles.
"I am so excited about the direction of our Michigan program -- with the coaches, the Bahna Wrestling Center, the recruits we're bringing in and the Cliff Keen Wrestling Club. Everything is coming together, and I'm proud to be a part of it."
As a Wolverine wrestler, 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.
Since his graduation, Churella has enjoyed a successful freestyle career. He is 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.
Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423