Anthony Ashnault to join Rutgers wrestling staff
Back in February, in the post match press conference after Rutgers wrestling's senior day dual against Michigan, Scarlet Knights head coach Scott Goodale was getting choked up talking about his seniors including Anthony Ashnault.
Two lines that he said stood out.
"We're going to be together for a long time," Goodale said. "I'm assuming you guys know what that means."
In a funny exchange, Ashnault jumped in a few seconds later during a pause and quipped, "We're getting married."
After some laughs, Goodale said, "I wish," with smile.
Speculation and rumors immediately started to swirl earlier in the season. TKR got word it was made public some time after and Ashnault, a sixth-year senior who just won his elusive NCAA national championship at 149 pounds, slipped, confirmed, and broke some news that he will be joining Goodale's staff in some capacity he revealed on Saturday night.
Ashnault came to Rutgers to help build the program. He's done that and more. After entering the night with zero titlists in the sport, the program now has two (Nick Suriano also won at 133).
"It means I'm going to be coaching next year and going to kids like, 'hey, we got it done'. I know what I did and I know Nick did and the steps along the way. The proof is in the pudding," Ashnault said. "It's a lot easier to set the table for a kid looking to come to Rutgers. We're not just producing All-Americans and national finalists and Big Ten champs. Now we're taking top 10 in the country as a team and getting national champs."
Ashnault will also train and work toward being an Olympic champion as well, something he's wanted to do since being a part of South Plainfield High School's murderer's row and the first four-time NJSIAA undefeated state champion.
Ashnault ended his Scarlet Knights career as the program's first four-time All-American. He took eighth in 2015, fourth in 2016, and sixth in 2017 before breaking through this year after sitting out last year due to injuries. He also wrapped up his time "On the Banks" as the all-time wins leader with a 123-18 record and three-time Big Ten champ.
Follow Chris Nalwasky on Twitter @ChrisWasky.