(Photo/Mount Union athletics)
Alliance, Ohio - Ryan Riggs has been named the head wrestling coach at the University of Mount Union.
Riggs, a native of Perry Township, Ohio, comes to Mount Union from Ferrum (Va.) College where he started in 2016 as an assistant coach, then promoted to associate head coach in 2018 before being named head coach in March of 2020.
"Ryan's experiences in coaching and his reputation in wrestling not only locally but throughout NCAA Division III was what separated him among our pool of applicants," stated Mike Parnell, interim director of athletics. "All of us at Mount Union look forward to the future of our wrestling program under his leadership."
"I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to return home to Stark County, Ohio as the University of Mount Union head wrestling coach," commented Riggs. "I would like to thank Dr. Jeffrey Bresse, Mike Parnell, Don Montgomery and everyone on the search committee for believing in my ability to lead the program. I am ready to get to work and start building for the future."
In his time at Ferrum, he handled day-to-day operations of the program, including recruiting, fundraising, practice development and coordinating Ferrum men's wrestling social media presence. He was instrumental in helping Ferrum host the 2019 NCAA Division III Wrestling National Championships at the Berglund Center in Roanoke, Virginia.
Riggs also helped the Panthers host the NCAA Southeast Regional tournaments in 2017 and 2018. He has served as tournament director for the Star City Classic, Southeast Duals and Panther Open, all tournaments hosted by Ferrum.
During his time at Ferrum, the Panthers won an NCAA Southeast Region title, four Southeast Wrestling Conference Tournament titles along with top-10 finishes at prestigious national events like the Pete Willson Invitational (2nd in 2017), the NWCA National Duals (8th in 2018) and the Citrus Open (2nd in 2019).
In 2017, Riggs was named Regional Assistant Coach of the Year as Ferrum had three national qualifiers that year and the program's first NCAA runner-up. He was also named Southeast Wrestling Conference Assistant Coach of the Year in 2019.
Riggs attended Massillon Perry High School and was a double All-American at the Asics Greco-Roman and Freestyle Fargo National Championships. Massillon Perry achieved its first top-10 national ranking by Amateur Wrestling News during Riggs' sophomore year in 2000-01.
He qualified three times for the Ohio State Tournament, was a two-time Ironman Tournament place winner and a Beast of the East Tournament finalist. Riggs was ranked nationally by USA Wrestling and Amateur Wrestling News before continuing his career at Cleveland State University as a scholarship wrestler under coach Jack Effner. He placed 5th at the Eastern Wrestling League Tournament in 2007 and was ranked as high as No. 3 in the league.
Riggs has also spent time at Ferrum as the head women's wrestling coach and the head cross country coach.