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Assael named Director of Operations for NC State wrestling program

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State wrestling head coach Pat Popolizio has announced the hiring of Ian Assael as the Wolfpack's Director of Operations. Assael is a former college and club coach with experience dating back to 1995.

Ian Assael with Trent Hidlay and Hayden Hilday
"Ian brings unique experience that will help elevate our program on all levels with his vast amount years in our sport," said Popolizio. "I've gotten to know him as both a club coach and a high school coach while we were recruiting many of his athletes over the years, many that have since gone on to become Division 1 wrestlers.

"Ian will be a great addition to our program."

Assael spent the last three years as the head coach of Darkhorse Wrestling in Charlotte. Prior to that stint, he was the owner of Bison Legend Wrestling from 2012-17.

On the collegiate level, Assael spent one season (2012-13) as an assistant coach at Bucknell.

He graduated from Charlotte in 1990, then spent 10 years as a teacher and a head coach at the high school level.

Assael will be replacing Melissa Simmons who joined Wolfpack Wrestling prior to the 2014-15 season, and served as the Director of Operations for five and a half seasons. A past former national champion during her collegiate days, Simmons recently earned her grad degree from NC State and is pursuing a job opportunity outside of collegiate wrestling.

"We want to thank Melissa for all of her hard work and dedication to our program," said Popolizio. "Without her skill set, NC State Wrestling would not be where it is today. I am very thankful to have had her as part of our team, and she will be greatly missed by everybody that is involved with our team."

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