Photo: Sam Janicki

Levendusky named interim SOU women's wrestling head coach

ASHLAND -- The Southern Oregon University women's wrestling team has its new leader in Joye Levendusky, a decorated alum and familiar face on the Raider coaching staff.

SOU Director of Athletics Matt Sayre announced Levendusky as SOU's interim head coach on Friday. The Avon, N.Y., product will guide the Raiders through the 2024-25 season, at the conclusion of which a full search will be conducted.

"Coach Levendusky has a great pedigree as a five-time All-American with multiple national championship teams," Sayre said. "Her experience wrestling for and coaching with some of the best coaches at the collegiate and national levels has given her a great foundation. She has the trust of the team and department, and we know she'll continue to elevate the high competitive and academic standards of the SOU women's wrestling team."

Levendusky arrived at SOU as a graduate transfer prior to the 2022-23 season via NCAA Division II school McKendree University (Ill.). There, she notched four All-America honors, was part of two national championship teams and earned a degree in exercise science and sports performance.

With the Raiders, she became a Cascade Conference champion and an NAIA finalist in the 170-pound weight class. She completed her lone season on the mat for SOU with a 28-2 record, contributing to the program's first national title.

Levendusky, 24, joined SOU's staff as an assistant in 2023-24 while completing her master's in business administration. The Raiders went on to finish top-three in the NAIA for the third consecutive season.

"I'm so honored and excited to lead this exceptional group of young women at SOU," Levendusky said. "We are going to come back even stronger this year and make SOU proud, both on and off the mat."

Her responsibilities as an assistant included serving as the Raiders' strength and conditioning coach in addition to one-on-one technique instruction. A member of the U.S. national team, she has also previously worked with youth clubs and coached the New York national team at Fargo Nationals.