It didn’t take long for Princeton University to find its next head wrestling coach. And they didn’t have to look very far either. Just over a week after news broke that Stanford had hired Chris Ayres to be their new head coach, Princeton announced today that associate head coach Joe Dubuque is the 11th head wrestling coach in school history.
Dubuque has been a member of the Princeton coaching staff for the last ten years. During that time, the Tigers have won an Ivy League title for the first time since 1986, they have put 10 wrestlers on the NCAA podium including two national finalists in 2022 and the program’s first NCAA champion since 1951 earlier this year.
A college 125 lber himself, Dubuque worked closely with Princeton’s 125 lb NCAA champion Patrick Glory, who finished as one of the most decorated wrestlers in program history. Glory earned NCAA All-American honors on three occasions and was a three-time EIWA champion.
Dubuque wrestled collegiately at Indiana where he was a three-time All-American and two-time national champion. He was famous for coming up big when the stakes were the highest, as Dubuque earned a pair of NCAA titles, yet never made the Big Ten finals.
Dubuque was coaching at his alma mater before coming to Princeton to coach in his home state. He also spent time on the Hofstra coaching staff.
The last few weeks have been wild on the collegiate coaching front. We’ve seen vacancies at North Carolina, Stanford, and Princeton; however, Dubuque’s hiring should bring this game of musical chairs to rest for now.
With Dubuque being elevated to head coach, it should keep some stability with the Princeton program. While it’s not necessarily common for wrestlers to transfer from an Ivy League school like Princeton, there may have been some Class of 2024 recruits who would have reconsidered their options had the school hired a coach from the outside. That’s important as Princeton currently has six Big Boarder’s committed from the Class of 2024.