"I am very excited to have Luke join our program," said LeBlanc. "He brings a wealth of knowledge from both his experience as a competitor and a as a coach. He is aligned with our programs' core values and beliefs, and our mission to develop principled leaders. I think he will have a great impact on all of our cadet-athletes."
Luke WelchWelch joins the Bulldogs after spending last season as the assistant wrestling coach at the University of Mount Olive. He served as the recruiting coordinator in the Trojans' inaugural season.
In that first season, Welch helped guide two wrestlers to the NCAA Division II tournament. The roster also had four wrestlers earn NWCA Scholar All-American honors, while ranking fourth nationally in community service.
Welch joined the Trojan staff after spending one year as the assistant wrestling coach at Castle High School. He coached two wrestlers to fourth and sixth place finishes at the IHSAA state meet.
He wrestled collegiately at Purdue where he compiled a 93-64 career record at 125 and 133 pounds. 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).
In his final season with the Boilermakers, Welch went 32-11 and qualified for the 2018 NCAA Wrestling Championships. He won his opening round match before falling to No.3 Spencer Lee of Iowa in the second round. He continued on in the wrestle backs winning a pair of matches before falling one round shy of the All-American rounds.
Welch graduated from Purdue in 2018 with a degree in social studies education. He also minored in politics, history and human rights. Welch is currently pursuing his masters of science in nutrition and human performance from Logan University.
For more information on The Citadel wrestling team, please visit CitadelSports.com or follow @CitadelWrestle on Twitter and Instagram, and @CitadelWrestling on Facebook.