Official release and photo courtesy of Rutgers University Athletics.
National Champion and Rutgers wrestling’s all-time wins leader Anthony Ashnault has been hired as an assistant coach, announced by head coach Scott Goodale on Tuesday.
The only four-time All-American and three-time Big Ten Champion in program history, Ashnault wrestled for the Scarlet Knights from 2014-19 and capped his collegiate career with an individual title at the 2019 NCAA Championships in Pittsburgh. The South Plainfield, New Jersey, native is also a two-time Rutgers University graduate after he earned his bachelor’s in planning and public policy in 2018 and his master’s in global sports business in 2020.
“I am really excited to start a new venture in my career and return home to Rutgers,” Ashnault said. “I am forever grateful for all of the help and guidance Rutgers University, Rutgers Athletics and Rutgers wrestling provided during my time as a student-athlete. It is an honor to accept this job and to be able to give back to those who are pursing the same type of dreams I was able to accomplish here at Rutgers.
“I could not be more excited for Anthony to join our staff,” Goodale said. “Bringing Anthony back to coach has been our vision for a long time, and I believe he has an incredible future in this sport as a coach and leader. He has been the face of Rutgers’ wrestling and we are fortunate the next step in his journey will be right here ‘On the Banks'”.
“Anthony not only represents the core values that shape our championship culture but demonstrates that NCAA and Big Ten titles can be won right here at Rutgers, “said Director of Athletics Pat Hobbs. “Bringing Anthony back on Goodale’s staff is incredibly exciting. He will have a tremendous impact on our student-athletes who are all attempting to accomplish the same dreams Anthony had when he competed for the Scarlet Knights.”
Ashnault’s collegiate resume is lengthy, as the South Plainfield, New Jersey native produce a program record 123 wins during his time as a student-athlete “On the Banks”. Ashnault went 32-0 as a senior during the 2018-19 campaign en route to 149-pound NCAA and Big Ten titles, as he became the program’s first ever Hodge Trophy finalist with a 59% bonus rate that season.
Competing at both 141 and 149 pounds as a Scarlet Knight, Ashnault secured All-America laurels four times, earned three Big Ten individual titles and accounted for 296 duals points to help Rutgers rack up 44 dual victories and 18 against Big Ten Conference opponents. Ashnault also secured an individual title at the prestigious Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational and placed three times at the Midlands Championships.
As a representative of USA Wrestling, Ashnault continues to compete against the world’s best, most recently wrestling at the 2021 U.S. Olympic Team Trials this past April in Fort Worth, Texas. Ashnault secured his trials’ spot last year with his freestyle gold medal at the Pan American Championships in Ottawa, Canada.
Ashnault joins a program coming off an historic 2021 campaign. Rutgers closed the season with three All-Americans in the same year for the first time in program history, as Sebastian Rivera (fourth), John Poznanski (fourth) and Jackson Turley (eighth) all earned All-America honors at the 2021 NCAA Championships in St. Louis. Along with two-time NCAA qualifiers Michael VanBrill (149) and Billy Janzer (197), RU produced 13 victories at nationals en route to a 13th-place finish with 37.5 team points.