Humboldt native hired to direct Purdue wrestling

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Tony Ersland, a native of Humboldt, was named the head wrestling coach at Purdue University on Friday.

Ersland, a graduate of the University of Iowa, was an assistant for Nebraska over the past eight seasons. His other coaching stops include Northwestern, Northern Illinois and Central Michigan.

“I’d like to thank Calvin Williams, Morgan Burke and the entire search committee that I dealt with during hiring process,” Ersland said in a press release. “Being named head wrestling coach at Purdue means a lot to me. I’ve been coaching for 17 years, and I got into this business to lead young men.

“I know the path I have taken to get to this point and the individuals that I have worked with have prepared me to create an elite program at Purdue.”

Ersland also coached the Cyclone Wrestling Club, helping Trent Paulson and David Zabriskie to NCAA championships.

During his time on the mat, Erland was a four-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and earned the J. Donald McPike Award, which goes to the senior on the team with the highest great-point average.

He helped the Hawkeyes earn three straight NCAA titles from 1995-97 and four Big Ten championships, finishing just one win shy of becoming an All-American himself his senior season.

Ersland also found success on the international level as a coach when Jordan Burroughs won Olympic gold in London. Two of his past wrestlers, Burroughs and Jake Herbert, were awarded the Dan Hodge, which goes to the top wrestler that year.

He’s had 86 NCAA qualifiers, 28 All-Americans and four national champions over his 17 years in coaching.

Ersland and his wife, Carolyn, have twin sons, Mason and Jaxon.