WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- A former local wrestling standout at Crestwood High School is returning home, as Associate Vice President and Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation Cheryl Ish announced the hiring of Josh Roosa as the new head coach of the King's wrestling program. Roosa becomes the college's first full-time head coach, and is just the third coach over the storied 51 years of King's Wrestling.
"It's with great excitement that we welcome Josh Roosa to King's and back to NEPA," said Ish. "Josh's passion for the sport, this area and for building our program was evident during the search process. The search committee was impressed with his vision for the growth of the program and his understanding of the success and traditions enjoyed under legendary coach Ned McGinley. I am confident that Josh will take advantage of his familiarity with the high caliber Pennsylvania high school wrestling and quickly begin the process of recruiting quality student-athletes to King's."
"Josh's experiences wrestling and coaching at high level will be an asset to developing a strong team culture and promoting individual success," said Ish. "Equally important, Josh's core values as a coach match perfectly with providing our student-athletes with a valuable education and great team environment."
"I am beyond thrilled to have the opportunity to lead a program with such a rich tradition and history," said Roosa. "Being an NEPA native and Crestwood Graduate, I am very much aware of that tradition and I am looking forward to building on all that Ned McGinley and others have worked hard to build. I would like to thank Cheryl Ish and the entire search committee for granting me this wonderful opportunity."
"Through the interview process, it became clear that King's College was an institution I wanted to be a part of," said Roosa. "The passion, excitement, and commitment everyone had for the King's College community was impressive. I have been very familiar with the program from a young age. I attended dual meets and looked up to wrestlers like Jim Morgan, Mitch Marks, Jason Reilly, and many others. To have an opportunity to take over a program that I looked up to as a kid is a dream come true."
Josh RoosaRoosa returns to Northeast Pennsylvania after serving as an assistant coach and co-head assistant coach at Division I Appalachian State University. While at App State, Roosa was responsible for all on-campus recruiting, along with assisting with team and individual workouts, producing social media content, and assisting in fundraising.
After two years as an assistant coach in Boone, Roosa was elevated to a role of co-head assistant coach before the 2017-18 season. In addition to the SoCon titles and NCAA qualifiers, he helped App State earn multiple top-25 national rankings, highlighted by a climb to No. 16 during the 2016-17 season.
Following the fourth straight SoCon title in 2018-19, the 2019-20 team had a school-record six NCAA Championships qualifiers while posting a 9-3 dual meet record. A young team with new starters at six positions led Division I wrestling with four dual meet shutouts, was one of only three Division I teams with at least four conference champions and was one of only six Division I teams that had all 10 starters finish the season with a winning record.
Off the mat, App State posted a school-record GPA of 3.45 in the spring of 2020, pushing the cumulative GPA to a program-best 3.11, and its number of community service hours recorded by the Helper Helper platform in 2019-20 ranked No. 4 among all Division I wrestling programs. A year earlier, the Mountaineers led all Division I wrestling programs in community service hours.
"I intend to focus on building a roster full of committed student athletes who want to excel academically, athletically, and socially," said Roosa. "I am excited to get in the room and implement a system I know works at the highest level and I am confident will make a huge difference in our performance on the mat. I am also looking forward to connecting with the alumni and supporters of King's College wrestling and getting them all involved with the program."
Prior to his time at App State, Roosa was an assistant coach at Division I University of Buffalo for one season. Roosa helped lead effective conditioning and technique practices, and assisted with recruiting while serving as the academic liaison to Athletic Academic Services.
His coaching career came after a stellar career on the mat at Division I Bloomsburg University, where he was a five-year scholarship wrestler. An NCAA qualifier at 149 and University Nationals All-American, he was a team captain in 2012-13 when the Huskie squad finished ranked 14th in the country. Roosa graduated from Bloomsburg with a B.A. in communication studies.
Before college, Roosa chalked up a 143-18 scholastic record on the mats at Crestwood High School in Mountaintop, PA. Roosa was a four-time PIAA District 2 champion, and had a record of 34-0 as a senior before breaking his hand and missing the state championships. He was sixth at the PIAA "AAA" Championships in 2007, and was the 2006 and 2007 National High School Coaches Association national champion at 145.
Roosa will come to Wilkes-Barre with his wife Rachael, and their one son, Joseph.
"I will bring tremendous energy and work ethic every day," said Roosa. "It has always been my goal to help all of my student-athletes reach their full potential on and off the mat. It may take some time but I plan to build King's College wrestling into one of the premier programs in the country."
What They're Saying About Roosa
"Although I hate to lose Josh I am extremely excited for him and his family. He has done a phenomenal job here supporting our program and and team culture, and hope these experiences will help him now lead King's College. I consider Josh not only a great coach but a personal friend and wish him tremendous luck as he starts this new journey." - JohnMark Bentley, Head Coach, Appalachian State University
"I'm so excited for Josh and his family! Having recruited, coached and worked along side of Josh this is the next step in his journey. As an athlete and coach Josh was and is a tireless worker. The attitude and commitment that he will bring will help elevate King's College wrestling. I'm looking forward to watching King's wrestling grow in and out of the wrestling room." - John Stutzman, Head Coach, University at Buffalo