Mount Olive, N.C. -- Mount Olive head wrestling coach Jake Patacsil announced the addition of Luke Welch as an assistant coach on Wednesday afternoon. The announcement comes just months before the Trojans take to the mat for their inaugural wrestling season at Mount Olive.
"I am excited to announce that Luke Welch has accepted the opportunity to join the UMO family as the assistant wrestling coach for the 2019-2020 season," said head coach Jake Patacsil. "He brings with him a wealth of knowledge wrestling at the 125lb weight class for Purdue for the last five years while leading the team. Luke is dedicated to athletic excellence with an emphasis on academic achievement. Bringing in a young coach who is eager to learn and succeed is what I was looking for in a candidate and I know Luke will help take UMO to the next level in our upcoming years. It is an exciting time to be starting a program and Luke is the right guy to help bring us into the future."
Welch comes to Mount Olive after completing his collegiate wrestling career at Purdue in 2018 with a 32-11 season and a strong performance at the 2018 NCAA Wrestling Championships. At the 2018 Championships, Welch won his opening bout only to drop in the second round to No. 3 Spencer Lee of Iowa. He continued on in the wrestle backs winning a pair of matches before falling one round shy of the All-American rounds.
Welch's overall career record came in at 93-64 between the 125 and 133-pound weight classes. He was the 2017 USA Wrestling University Nationals 57 kg national champion, a two-time USA Wrestling University Nationals All-American (2015, 2017), a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection (2015, 2018), and ranks 18th on Purdue's career takedowns list (227).
Welch's family has a deep history in the sport of wrestling. He joined his older twin brothers, Chad and Doug, on the mat for the Boilermakers while wrestling at Purdue from 2013-2018. Their father Curt and uncles Tim and Bart also wrestled collegiately, competing at the University of Indianapolis through the late 70's, 80's, and early 90's.
Recently, Welch was an assistant wrestling coach at Castle High School in Newburgh, Indiana, where he helped the Knights to a fourth consecutive sectional team championship title which also included nine individual champions.
The Trojans kick off their season in early November as they travel to the Hokie Open in Blacksburg, Va. Coach Patacsil, Coach Welch, and the team host the inaugural match at Kornegay Arena on November 24 in a tri-meet with UNC Pembroke, St. Andrews, and West Liberty.
Fans can are encouraged to check back frequently for updates regarding the Wrestling team and can also follow the team on social media including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.