Corey VanGroll completed his fifth season in 2016-17 as Concordia University Wisconsin's Wrestling head coach. During his time as the Falcon leader, he has taken at least one wrestler to the NCAA Division III Championship each season.
During the 2016-17 campaign, the Falcons again had strong individuals who finished top-5 in numerous tournaments and won titles throughout the season. In the end, Mason Baumgartner and Mason Mergener added National Qualifier status to their résumé for the second time.
The 2015-16 season saw the Falcons send two wrestlers (Mason Baumgartner, Pierce Holtfreter) to the NCAA Division III Championship. It was the fourth-straight year a wrestler has represented CUW on the national stage. Overall, seven different student-athletes have reached the NCAA Division III Championship under his tutelage (Sean Ambrocio, Mason Baumgartner, Pierce Holtfreter, Mason Mergener, Marcus Lubner, Jake Ruteler).
VanGroll led the program to three-consecutive Northern Wrestling Association titles and during the 2014-15 season, they won six weight divisions. He has also been named the NWA Coach of the Year each of the past three years.
He coached Greg Sanders to the 149 lb. National Championship in 2012-13, the school's first national champion. He then guided a program-record three wrestlers to the NCAA Division III Tournament in 2013-14, with Sean Ambrocio earning All-America honors.
Sanders won his finals match over the defending 141 lb. champion, Kodie Silvestri of Wartburg College. He was also named the NWCA Outstanding Wrestler at the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships.
In addition to helping guide Sanders to the national title, VanGroll also coached Sean Ambrocio, who qualified for the national meet three times during his career, the only program to accomplish the feat in program history.
As a team, CUW cracked the NWCA Top-25 poll, coming in at No. 21 in the March 6 poll. The Falcons finished 11th at the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships, thanks in large part to Sanders national title.
VanGroll also led the Falcons to a Northern Wrestling Association Tournament title twice, as they have had 10 wrestlers capture individual championships, including Sanders and Ambrocio, who were named Outstanding Wrestler at the conference tournament.
Before coming to CUW, VanGroll quickly rose up the coaching ranks in the wrestling community while at Iowa Lakes Community College. The former All-American and National Qualifier at UW-Parkside coached the Lakers to two top-10 finishes as a team at the National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association level. He also coached 10 All-Americans and Victor Dejesus, a two-time national champion.
VanGroll coached seven Academic All-Americans during his time at ILCC and helped three of his student-athletes receive scholarships at NCAA Division I wrestling programs.
As a student-athlete at UW-Parkside, he twice advanced to the NCAA Division II National Tournament and earned All-American honors in 2009 with a fourth place finish. He was a four-year member of the Rangers wrestling program, twice voted team captain and received several sportsmanship awards. He also advanced to the NCAA Division II Tournament in 2008.
He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Fitness Management and a Minor in Sports Management at UW-Parkside prior to earning his Master’s Degree in higher education at Iowa State University this past year.
“The standards and expectations that I have for this program are high,” VanGroll said. “We already have a solid group of wrestlers here at CUW and I hope to grow the program in numbers and to also coach potential All-Americans over the next few years.”