Matt Zwaschka hired as interim Wrestling coach

Augie Spankowski, Staff Reporter

Matt Zwaschka has been named interim head coach for the Warhawk wrestling team by University of Wisconsin-Whitewater athletics director Todd Garzarelli.

Zwaschka worked as an assistant coach in the Warhawk wrestling program from 2005 to 2011 before serving as the head wrestling coach for the Milwaukee School of Engineering in 2013.

“With the tradition that we have here with the wrestling program, I’m just very excited to have been a part of that and to just be a part of it again and to continue the strong tradition that the wrestling program has,” Zwaschka said.

Junior Mike Tortorice, who wrestled under former head coach Ned Shuck, said he was relieved once he heard of Zwaschka’s hiring.

“I was a little worried about the team sticking around,” Tortorice said. “Ever since having multiple meetings and practices around Coach Zwaschka, my worries have almost entirely dissolved. I think that he’s going to be able to keep the momentum the program has had within the past few years and also propel us even further.”

Despite some initial anxiety and excitement surrounding the hiring of a new head coach, Zwaschka said he remains optimistic.

“I’m just excited to work with this group of guys,” Zwaschka said. “There’s a lot of talent on this team, and they have some big things ahead of them.”

Zwaschka aims to approach his new role by taking this year’s wrestling team to the next level.

“I think a lot of it is just believing in the new coaching staff, us believing in the kids’ ability and working together to be able to get the kids up to their potential,” Zwaschka said. “Last year, they didn’t perform up to what their expectations were at the end of the year. I think it’s important that we’re able to get them to peak at the right time of the season, so that they can wrestle their best when it’s the most important.”

Last season, the Warhawks went 10-5 in the regular season before finishing in ninth place at the NCAA Division III Championships in March.

  Zwaschka’s career path

During his undergraduate career at UW-La Crosse, Zwaschka was able to wrestle his way to four letters, a WIAC championship and a qualification for the NCAA Championships in 2003 at 165 pounds. That same year he earned his bachelor’s degree in exercise and sports science, before later earning his master’s degree in exercise and sports science in 2005.

During his time in Milwaukee, Zwaschka was able to guide four wrestlers to the NCAA Championships, while also contributing as an assistant coach in both the wrestling and football programs at Port Washington High School. Zwaschka also worked in the Port Washington Saukville School District as a physical and health education teacher from 2011 to 2013.

Zwaschka was hired as the Junior Greco-Roman National team coach for the Wisconsin Wrestling Federation in 2012, a position he still holds today.