Dolph added to Michigan coaching staff

By Leah Howard | Sept. 28, 2010, 6:08 p.m. (ET)
University of Michigan wrestling head coach Joe McFarland announced Tuesday (Sept. 28) the addition of Brian Dolph to the coaching staff. Dolph, an NCAA champion and 11-year collegiate coaching veteran, will serve as the Wolverines' volunteer coach while overseeing the freestyle program at Michigan's USA Wrestling Regional Training Site.

"I'm excited to reconnect with Brian," said McFarland. "I coached him earlier in my career when I was down at Indiana, and I've stayed in touch with him over the years. I know he's been wanting to get back into college coaching; so, I think he's excited about coming up here, and we're excited about having him. He's got a great wrestling mind, and he just loves being on the mat. I think he can help us out in a number of different areas, not only with his collegiate background but with his freestyle background as well. We're looking to take our program here to the next level, and I think Brian will play a big role in that endeavor."

"I feel like I am a good fit with the rest of the staff here," said Dolph. "We all have similar philosophies, and I think we'll work well as a team. I think my experience as a coach at all levels will be an asset to the program, and with the experience I have, I'll be able to really connect with the kids. I think they will respect that and listen to what I have to offer. I'm looking forward to getting started."

Prior to his arrival at Michigan, Dolph worked on the coaching staffs at Pennsylvania (1994-2003) and Cleveland State (2006-07) and served as head coach at Massillon Perry High School (2004-06) and North Canton Hoover High School (2007-10) in Ohio.

He was instrumental in developing a competitive middleweight corps at Penn and helped guide nine different Quaker wrestlers to NCAA All-America honors over his tenure. Among his most decorated pupils are Olympic gold medalist and two-time NCAA finalist Brandon Slay, NCAA champion Brett Matter and two-time All-Americans Rick Springman and Yoshi Nakamura. While at Perry High School, Dolph earned back-to-back Stark County Wrestling Coach of the Year honors (2004, '05) and coached a pair of future NCAA champions in Michigan's Steve Luke (2006-09) and Minnesota's Dustin Schlatter.

As a collegiate wrestler at Indiana University (1986, '88-90), Dolph compiled one of the most esteemed careers in Hoosier program history, spending his final two seasons under McFarland's leadership. He became Indiana's first NCAA individual champion in 50 years as a senior in 1990 by capturing the 150-pound NCAA title, earning an 11-5 decision over Northern Iowa's Gary Steffensmeier in the championship bout. A three-time NCAA All-American, Dolph also posted national finishes of third (1989) and eighth (1988) and, at the time of his achievement, was the first Hoosier wrestler in program history to register three consecutive All-America performances.

Dolph's 127-9 career record ranks fourth in all-time wins at Indiana, while his 46 wins during the 1989-90 season and .934 career winning percentage remain IU program records. In addition to his success at the NCAA Tournament, Dolph captured two Big Ten titles at 150 pounds (1989, '90), advancing to the finals in each of his final three seasons, and won the prestigious Midlands Championship in 1989.

After graduation, Dolph completed a successful 10-year run in the 68kg/149.5-pound and 76kg/167.5-pound freestyle divisions, qualifying for the World and Olympic Trials every year. He was the 167.5-pound runner-up at the 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials and traveled to Sydney, Australia, as an alternate on the U.S. Olympic Team. Dolph was a six-time national team member and a champion of several international tournaments, including the Alexander Medved International in Russia, where he did not give up a single point.

A native of Canton, Ohio, Dolph received his bachelor's degree in health and physical education from Indiana in 1990. He and his wife, Jenelle, have a son, A.J.