Joe McFarland Retiring From Michigan

Courtesy of University of Michigan Athletics


ARBOR, MI — Head coach Joe McFarland announced that he is retiring after 19 seasons at the helm of the University of Michigan wrestling program. McFarland made his announcement Saturday night following the conclusion of Michigan's involvement at the 2018 NCAA Championships in his hometown of Cleveland.

"My wife and I had been thinking about the right time for me to step away, and what better place to end my career than in the city where I grew up," McFarland said. "It has been such a wonderful opportunity for me to be a student-athlete at Michigan and then return to coach at my alma mater. It's been a great journey, and I look forward to the next chapter as a Wolverine fan and supporter.

"I'm proud of the achievements we've had over the years, but I'm even prouder of all the young men who earned their Michigan degrees and went on to great success in their adult lives. I have been privileged to work with some outstanding student-athletes, fellow coaches, and athletic directors throughout my career, and I can't thank them enough for making my experience so rewarding."

Since taking over the reins in 1999, McFarland has helped mold Michigan into a highly touted national contender, guiding the U-M wrestling squad to three Big Ten dual-meet championships (2004, 2005, 2006) and 11 top 10 finishes at the NCAA Championships (2001-08, 2016-18)—including an NCAA runner-up performance in 2005 and a fourth-place finish this weekend. He ranks third on Michigan's head coaching career wins list (214) behind legendary head coach Cliff Keen (274, 1926-42, 1946-70) and his own collegiate coach, Dale Bahr (221, 1979-99).

Michigan claimed a team trophy with its fourth-place finish at the NCAA Championships this weekend—its best finish in 13 seasons—and boasted five NCAA All-Americans with a pair of finalists. The Wolverines also earned their best Big Ten Championships finish in nine seasons with a third-place showing and a pair of individual champions, and UM went 11-3 in dual meets to finish fourth in the final NWCA national rankings.

"Joe is one of the most respected wrestling coaches in this country, and I am thankful for his passion for and tireless dedication to our students," Michigan Director of Athletics Warde Manuel said. "Joe has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to Michigan, first as a student-athlete, then as an assistant and head coach. Throughout his career, Joe has developed championship-caliber wrestlers as well as leaders within our community. We are thankful for his contributions and wish him well in retirement."

McFarland led 31 different student-athletes to five NCAA individual titles, 60 All-America citations, and 19 Big Ten individual crowns. Among McFarland's most decorated pupils were two-time NCAA champion and four-time Big Ten champion Kellen Russell (2008-09, 2011-12), two-time NCAA champion and four-time All-American Ryan Bertin (2002-05), NCAA champion and three-time All-American Steve Luke (2006-09), four-time All-American Eric Tannenbaum (2005-08), and three-time All-Americans Otto Olson (1997, 1999-2002), Andy Hrovat (1999-2002), Ryan Churella (2003-06), Greg Wagner (2003-06), Josh Churella (2005-08), Tyrel Todd (2006-09), and Adam Coon (2014-18).

Prior to his coaching career at UM, McFarland was the head coach at Indiana University from 1990-92. He produced one of the most impressive first-year improvements in Big Ten history when he guided the Hoosiers to a perfect 14-0 dual meet record in 1989-90, the program's first undefeated season since 1946. He was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year in 1990.

FRL 362: The Pre-NCAA Tournament Mega Show!

FRL 362 - The Pre-NCAA Tournament Mega Show!

Kyle Conel Seeking Medical Redshirt & Transfer

null

Kyle Conel was one of, if not, the biggest story of the 2018 NCAA tournament. 

NCAA Tournament Team Scoring Based On Seeds

null

How would the NCAA Tournament team race go if every match went according to seed? That's a good question, and luckily for us, we can answer it, as the NCAA seeding committee has, for the first time in tournament history, seeded all 33 entries per weight class. 

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

2019 NCAA Tournament Preview + Predictions: 184 Pounds

null

The 2019 NCAA Wrestling Championships are nearly here! But you already knew that, didn't you? This is our eighth preview article, there's no way you're just now hearing about the NCAAs. 

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Betting Odds For The NCAA Wrestling Tournament Are Here

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

You've spent five months watching the greatest season in the sport. You know the results. You know the brackets. Now it's time to make some picks.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

2019 NCAA Tournament Preview + Predictions: 174 Pounds

null

We're just days away from the start of the 2019 NCAA tournament, and the previews are still flying in. The 330 best college wrestlers in the nation will all soon converge on Pittsburgh for three of the most grueling days of their lives.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

2019 NCAA Tournament Preview + Predictions: 165 Pounds

The NCAA Championship is coming to Pittsburgh, bringing 330 of the raddest and baddest dudes on the planet to Steel City. To prepare for the most fantastic three days on the calendar, we've written these previews for you, the savviest and most intelligent sports fans on Planet Earth.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

2019 NCAA Tournament Preview + Predictions: 157 Pounds

null

We've come to the halfway point of the 100-mile ultra marathon that is previewing the NCAA tournament. But as wrestlers, we all love the grueling pain of agonizing over every bracket, poring through results, and making a pick for all 640 matches.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

2019 NCAA Tournament Preview + Predictions: 149 Pounds

null

As the great Canadian poet Shania Twain once said, "Looks like we made it. Look how far we've come." And folks, we are here to tell you that we have indeed made it to the 2019 NCAA Championships. The regular season and conference weekend are over. Time to have some fun.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic Breakdown

null

Some of the most talented high school wrestlers in the country are set to battle. Before we see the best in the country claim NCAA titles, we will get a glimpse of some future stars as Team PA takes on Team USA.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In