Alex Clemsen Named Head Wrestling Coach
Known as Elite Recruiter, Former Missouri Associate Head Coach Joins Terps After 84-7 Record in Dual Meets
The associate coach of the University of Missouri's wrestling program has been named head coach at Maryland, Director of Athletics Damon Evans announced yesterday.
Alex Clemsen comes to College Park following a successful five-year tenure at Mizzou, including the last four as associate head coach. Clemsen helped Missouri wrestlers earn three NCAA individual titles, 22 All-America honors and five consecutive top-six team finishes at the NCAA Championships. Missouri teams went a combined 84-7 in dual meets during his time on staff there.
"His dedication to developing student-athletes both on and off the mat will serve him well as the leader of our program," Evans said. "It is an exciting time for the Maryland wrestling program."
Clemsen said he felt honored to have been selected for the position at Maryland.
"I'd like to thank Director of Athletics Damon Evans, sport supervisor Mark Sherburne and the entire search committee for believing in my vision for this program," he said. "I'm excited to compete in the strongest conference in collegiate wrestling, and I truly believe this program has what it takes to consistently compete on the national level. I cannot wait to get going with our team and hit the ground running."
Clemsen played a pivotal role in developing nine NCAA qualifiers this past season, which included four earning All-American honors. The Tigers also saw six wrestlers win Middle Atlantic Conference individual titles on the way to their eighth consecutive team title.
In 2017-18, Clemsen helped guide Mizzou to a seventh straight conference title and fourth straight NCAA top-6 finish. Seven Tigers won individual conference titles at the MAC Championships, which was good for most in program history.
The 2016–17 season for Missouri was headlined by the third consecutive NCAA title for J'den Cox, who became the first wrestler in program history to reach the top of the podium three times. In that same season, the Tigers tallied five All-Americans, which was tied for the most in program history.
In 2015–16, Missouri repeated as MAC Champions and sent nine wrestlers through to the NCAA Championships. The team finished sixth in the country at the national tournament and had a National Champion for the third consecutive season.
In his inaugural season at Mizzou, Clemsen played a key role in the development of 149-pounder Drake Houdashelt, who went on to win a title at the NCAA Championships. In all, the Tigers sent all 10 wrestlers to the NCAA Championships and claimed a fourth-place overall finish.
Known as an elite recruiter, Clemsen helped assemble three top-10 recruiting classes and five top-20 recruiting classes during his career.
Clemsen brought with him a tradition of success upon his arrival at Missouri, as he coached 38 NCAA qualifiers, six All-Americans and eight ACC champions at Virginia. He helped the program reach No. 11 in the nation during the 2012–13 season, which stands as a program-best ranking.
In his first season with the Cavaliers, Clemsen helped lead the team to its first ACC Championship since 1977. The team went on to earn a 15th-place finish at the NCAA Championships to clinch its second consecutive top-25 finish at the event.
Clemsen was also instrumental in developing student-athletes off the mat during his time in Charlottesville. The Cavaliers recorded the fifth-best team GPA in the country during the 2012–13 season, and eight Cavaliers were named to the NWCA All-Academic Team as well.
Prior to his time at Virginia, Clemsen served as director of wrestling operations at Oregon State for two seasons.
A 2007 graduate of Edinboro University, Clemsen was an All-American wrestler and four-time NCAA qualifier. He finished his career with a 121–35 record, good for ninth in the school's history. He was the 14th wrestler in program history to win four Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Championships, and he was also named an Eastern Wrestling League Champion.
A two-time Academic All-American, Clemsen graduated with the highest GPA of any wrestler in Edinboro history. He continued his career at the international level as a University Nationals All-American and a University World Team Trials runner-up.
Clemsen was a standout wrestler at Moberly senior high school, winning three Missouri state championship titles. He and his wife, Lindsay, have a daughter, Payten, and a son, Porter.