Eric Voelker hired as new Iowa State assistant coachEric Voelker, a former two-time NCAA 190-pound champion and part of Iowa State's 1987 NCAA championship team who will be inducted into the ISU Letterwinners Hall of Fame next weekend, has joined the Iowa State wrestling program as an assistant coach.
Iowa State head coach Kevin Jackson, a teammate of Voelker on that 1987 team, made the announcement Friday while laying out the individual responsibilities of each Cyclone coach on his staff.
Jackson announced that current Iowa State assistant coach Yero Washington has been named head assistant wrestling coach. Former ISU national champion Nate Gallick continues to serve Iowa State as a volunteer coach, working with Cyclones in the wrestling room and with the Cyclone Wrestling Club.
Former Iowa State head coach Bobby Douglas will continue serving the Cyclone wrestling program as the Cyclone Wrestling Club coach. Former Cyclone four-time All-American Dwight Hinson will continue to assist the program and Molly Donnelly remains director of wrestling operations.
"We are excited about Eric Voelker joining our coaching staff" Jackson said. "I have known Eric since our days at Iowa State.
He brings great personal knowledge of wrestling and extensive experience working with young people on and off the mat.
Ultimately, he is an Iowa Stater in every way and we are on the same page in terms of building a better man, not just a better wrestler. Ultimately, that is what Iowa State wrestling is all about. Eric has been outside our program and that experience will assist him as an ambassador to alumni and fans on behalf of the Cyclone wrestling program."
Jackson affirmed Washington's contributions to the Iowa State wrestling program.
"Yero Washington has been my right-hand man with exceptional knowledge and experience" Jackson said. "He has been a great asset to our program from the start and his presence is a major asset to the future of Iowa State wrestling."
Douglas, Gallick, Hinson and Donnelly are committed to the Cyclone wrestling legacy.
"Bobby Douglas has been the best of mentors to myself and countless Iowa State wrestlers for nearly 20 years" Jackson said. "He will help us develop training plans for our senior-level athletes in the Cyclone Wrestling Club. Nate Gallick will continue to work with our athletes in the practice room and have some Cyclone Wrestling Club responsibilities.
Dwight will be working on behalf of our program at the grass-roots level. He builds great relationships with young people and we will take advantage of that fact. Molly does so much for our wrestling program behind the scenes and we appreciate her contributions."
Voelker won NCAA titles at 190 pounds in 1987 and 1989. A three-time All-American and Big Eight Conference champion, he finished his Iowa State career with a record of 101-13-1 and is excited about the Cyclone wrestling program.
"I told the team (Thursday) that I came to Iowa State and became a champion over time, working early on with guys like (three-time NCAA champion) Nate Carr
and (Big Eight champion) Wayne Cole in the wrestling room" Voelker said. "I am anxious to get started helping our student-athletes to succeed at the next level academically and as a wrestler.
We have a great head coach in Kevin Jackson and the rest of our staff is positioned to develop young men in the wrestling program."
Voelker earned his bachelor's degree from Iowa State in 1989 in speech communication.
He has since earned a Master's of Divinity from Bethel Seminary (2008) and a Master's in Educational Leadership in 2010 from Iowa State.
"Iowa State has given me the education of a lifetime" Voelker said. "I want to give back to this special place."
Voelker has worked as a prep wrestling coach at his alma mater, Dallas Center-Grimes and as a club coach since graduating from Iowa State.
In addition to his upcoming induction to the Iowa State athletics hall of fame, Voelker is a member of the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame, the Glen Brand/Dan Gable Wrestling Hall of Fame and the Iowa High School wrestling hall of Fame.
Voelker is married to the former Cheryl Cybulski , also a coach and a former Iowa State volleyball player.
They have three daughters.
Eric Voelker Career Highlights:
- Two-time national champion at 190 pounds (1987 & 1989)
- Three-time All-American at 190 pounds (1987, 1988, 1989)
- Three-time Big Eight champion (1987, 1988, 1989)
- One of 16 multiple NCAA champions in ISU wrestling history
- His 4-3 win over Minnesota's Mike Dean in the 1987 190-pound NCAA title bout helped ISU secure the national title
- Placed third at the 1988 NCAA Wrestling Championships, winning the Gorrian Award for most falls in the tournament
- Defeated Mike Whitehead of Northwestern, 7-2, to win the 1989 190-pound NCAA wrestling title
- Finished his senior season at 21-2-1
- Ended career with a 101-13-1 overall mark