Purdue’s new head wrestling coach Tony Ersland has taken the first step in remaking the Boilermaker mat program with announcement of the hiring of former University of Michigan wrestler Tyrel Todd Tuesday.
As with his new boss Ersland — a former University of Iowa wrestler and Nebraska assistant coach — Todd brings a Big Ten mat background to the Big Ten school in West Lafayette, Ind., as well as coaching experience from Cal Poly and Arizona State.
While at Michigan, Todd was a three-time NCAA All-American at 184 and 197 pounds in 2007-2009. The two-time team captain won the 197 title at the 2009 Big Ten conference championships, defeating Wisconsin’s Dallas Herbst in the finals. A native of Bozeman, Mont., Todd compiled a career record of 121-30 for the Wolverines.
Todd’s on-the-mat performance was matched by strength in the classroom. He was an All-Big Ten Academic selection and Athletic Academic Achievement Award winner in 2006, received the Snip Nalan Scholarship for Wrestling in 2008-09 and was named the team’s Distinguished Scholar in 2009.
After graduating from Michigan in 2009, Todd launched his coaching career, first as an assistant at Cal Poly, then at the Cliff Keen Wrestling Club in Ann Arbor, Mich. This past season, Todd was an assistant coach to then-head coach Shawn Charles at Arizona State, working with upper-weight wrestlers.
Todd is eager to work with Purdue’s new head coach and the Boilermaker wrestlers.
“First of all, I’d like to thank Coach Ersland for this amazing opportunity,” Todd said. “I am excited to be back in the Big Ten and to work with Coach Ersland. Everywhere he has been he’s had success recruiting and worked with great coaches. He’s a great leader, coach and person. I look forward to building a program with him.
“Purdue is a great school and it’s really nice to come into a good setup with a lot of positives. I can’t wait to start recruiting guys that want to grind and aren’t afraid to train with the expectation of high results. I want to recruit wrestlers that want to do something that hasn’t been done before here at Purdue. We want to turn heads and create something new and exciting and to me as a coach, that’s really exciting.”
“Recruiting will be the number one thing on my priority list at Purdue,” Todd said. “I want to find the wrestlers that are excited to be in the Big Ten. It’s the toughest conference out there and it’s a grind week in and week out. I embraced that as a wrestler and I want to recruit the wrestlers that are ready to get after it every weekend.
“Secondly, I want to work with and develop the upper weights on our roster. I want to build their confidence through tough work, but also mentally. There’s so much that goes into wrestling in this league and at this level. Wrestling isn’t just a technical chess match, it’s also mental. I think this group has untapped potential and I can’t wait to get to work with them.”
Former Big Ten mat champs Ersland and Todd seek to turn around a Purdue wrestling program that has ranked towards the bottom of the conference in recent years. At the 2014 Big Ten championships, the Boilermakers placed eleventh out of twelve schools in the team standings, failing to have a single wrestler make it into the finals.