One of the finest wrestlers to ever come from New Jersey will return to his home state next season. Princeton wrestling head coach Chris Ayres announced that two-time NCAA champion Joe Dubuque will serve as assistant coach for the rising Tiger program.
Dubuque, the 2005 and 2006 NCAA champion (125) has five years of experience as an assistant coach, including two with his alma mater, Indiana. Prior to that, he spent three years as an assistant with Hofstra.
“Hiring Joe is a huge step for our program,” Ayres said. ”The last six years I have preached that we need to build the strongest organizational foundation in order to achieve sustained success in the long run. Upgrading the second position through an endowment solidifies that foundation. We are now on a more even playing field with our competitors and have the opportunity to see just how good we can become. Getting someone with the credentials and experience of Joe Dubuque is just the icing on the cake.”
While wrestling at Indiana, Dubuque posted an overall record of 114-18, including a 69-6 dual mark and a 19-6 Big Ten record in four years.
"I want to thank Chris Ayres for giving me the opportunity to come back to New Jersey and help bring Princeton wrestling to a new level," Dubuque said. "I am excited to be a part of the Tiger tradition."
Dubuque, a native of Bloomfield, New Jersey, was a scholastic national champion as a senior and a two-time state champion at Glenn Ridge High School. He posted a 23-5 overall record and was ranked 12th as a freshman, but he missed the Big 10 Championships due to an injury.
A year later Dubuque qualified for his first NCAA appearance with a fourth-place finish at the Big Ten Championships and then went on to earn All-America honors with an eighth-place showing at the NCAA Championships. He finished the year with a 34-9 overall record, a 21-2 dual mark and captured the 125-pound title at the Northern Iowa Open.
In 2004-05 Dubuque placed third in the Big Ten Championships and then defeated three ranked opponents on his march to claim the 125-pound title at the national championships. He became the first Hoosier grappler to claim a national championship since Brian Dolph captured the 150-pound title in 1990. He finished the year with a 29-3 overall record, an 18-1 slate in duals, a 6-1 mark in the Big Ten and a 12-2 mark against ranked opponents.
As a senior during the 2005-06 season he recorded an overall mark of 28-1, including a 7-1 record against ranked opponents; he defeated three ranked foes at the NCAAs en route to the 125-pound crown. Dubuque became just the second Hoosier in Indiana history to capture two national titles and the first Hoosier to register back-to-back NCAA crowns. He helped lead Indiana to an 18th-place finish at the 2006 NCAA Championships.
Dubuque earned a bachelor’s degree in recreation sports management from Indiana. He has a wife, Jaime, and a son Chase.
“We needed to raise quite a bit of funds during the past year and over 30 alumni contributed significant funds to the coaching endowment,” Ayres said. “I thank everyone who contributed and plan to recognize them more formally once the books are closed on this effort, but a special thanks must go to Rich Tavoso ‘87 and Mike Novogratz ‘87. Rich and Mike were the first to understand the need to upgrade the position and really launched this effort with an incredible fund matching plan that pulled in a lot of support from other alumni. Without their initial “push” we wouldn’t be where we are today.
“Nothing defines the Princeton Wrestling program more than the passion and commitment of our alumni and I am so thankful they were able to respond to our call for support once again,” Ayres added.