Alex Clemsen named assistant coach at Missouri

June 13, 2014, 12:59 p.m. (ET)
Moberly native returns to Missouri as assistant wrestling coach

COLUMBIA, Mo – Mizzou head wrestling coach Brian Smith announced the addition of assistant coach Alex Clemsen to his coaching staff today, June 13. A native of Moberly, Missouri, Clemsen returns to Columbia after five years as the wrestling assistant coach at the University of Virginia.

"I’ve known Alex for a long time, going back to my first years at Mizzou when he came to our camps,” head coach Brian Smith said. “I’ve watched him compete, very successfully, at the collegiate level and I’ve watched him grow as a coach, first at Oregon State then at the University of Virginia. I also had the opportunity to mentor him through the NWCA Leadership Academy, and he has really matured into one of the elite coaches in the nation. Not only that, but he has aspirations to be a head coach, a quality I’m always looking for.”

Clemsen will bring with him a tradition of success as he has coached 38 NCAA qualifiers, six All-Americans and eight ACC Champions at Virginia. He helped the program reach No. 11 in the nation during the 2012-13 season, which stands as a program-best ranking. With Clemsen’s assistance, the Cavaliers defeated then-No. 9 Central Michigan, marking the program’s first-ever win over a top-10 opponent. In his first season with the Cavaliers, Clemsen helped lead the team to an ACC Championship, the first for the program since 1977. The team went on to earn a 15th-place finish at the NCAA Championships. It was the Cavs’ second consecutive top-25 finish at the NCAA Championships in his second season with the program.

Not only did Clemsen help lead Virginia to success on the mat, but his teams were consistently successful in the classroom as well. The Cavs recorded the fifth-best team GPA in the country during the 2012-13 season, and eight Cavaliers were named to the NWCA All-Academic Team as well. Seven Cavaliers were named to the team the previous season.

Prior to his time at Virginia, Clemsen served as the director of wrestling operations at Oregon State for two seasons.

“Alex has always been interested in the Missouri program, and really believes in what Tiger Style is about,” Smith said. “His wife’s family is from Columbia and he’s from Moberly. Having family close by makes it easier on a coach’s family. Alex brings a lot of energy and excitement to the program and has done an outstanding job recruiting with Coach Steve Garland at Virginia. He has built a lot of great relationships with the team at Virginia and I’m sure it wasn’t easy for him to leave. We’re really excited to have him here at Mizzou!”

A 2007 graduate of Edinboro, Clemsen was an All-American wrestler and four-time NCAA qualifier. He finished his career with a 121-35 record, good for ninth in the school’s history. Clemsen stands as Edinboro’s 14th wrestler to win four Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Championships, and he was also named an Eastern Wrestling League Champion. A two-time Academic All-American, Clemsen graduated with the highest GPA of any wrestler in Edinboro history. Clemsen continued his career at the international level as a University Nationals All-American and a University World Team Trials runner-up.

“I would like to thank Coach Smith, Mr. Alden and Ms. Reesman for giving me the opportunity to bring my family home to Missouri and my hometown region,” Clemsen said. “I’m very excited to finally be a Tiger. Missouri is going to continue to compete to be a national power, and helping Brian continue to create an atmosphere when men can grow in all areas while also winning matches is going to be a lot of fun. I encourage those who may have followed me during my high school career to come out to the Hearnes Center and support Missouri this season.”

Clemsen was a standout wrester at Moberly senior high school, winning three Missouri State Championship titles during his high school career. Clemsen and his wife, Lindsay, have two children: a daughter, Payten and a son, Porter.

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