From 2001 to 2006, Joe Dubuque filled his proverbial closet with nearly as many awards and championships as possible. Now he’ll try to augment his impressive collection from the corner instead of the mat.
Dubuque, a two-time national champion Hoosiers grappler, has joined coach Duane Goldman’s IU wrestling staff as an assistant.
“We had a spot open on our staff, and you know, we opened it up, national search, and he was one of the people obviously we were interested in,” Goldman said. “He knows what we’re trying to accomplish.”
Goldman added that recruiting would be one of Dubuque’s primary capacities as an assistant.
A New Jersey native who spent the last three years as an assistant at Hofstra Univeristy, Dubuque said he hopes to use his East Coast contacts to bring high school talent from that area of the country to IU. He said combining that with the Midwestern recruiting base that the team already maintains can elevate IU’s program to the highest levels.
“To bring that caliber of wrestlers out to Indiana, that’s what’s going to put us over the top,” Dubuque said.
One of two assistants on IU’s staff, Dubuque is not the only former Hoosiers wrestler. His former teammate and roommate Pat DeGain is two years into a stint as an assistant with Goldman and the Hoosiers.
Though neither was hired specifically because they are IU wrestling alumni, Goldman acknowledged the value of having former Hoosiers on his staff. Still, he emphasized that he believes both Dubuque and DeGain were the best candidates for their respective positions.
“I think it’s important for any program to get the best people available,” Goldman said. “But I believe that, in this case, both times – when it came to hiring Pat and it came to hiring Joe – the best people available were people who had wrestled here.”
Dubuque said he’s looking forward to working with DeGain again.
“I wasn’t scared to get in his face and push him, and he wasn’t afraid to get in my face and push me (when the two wrestled together at IU),” Dubuque said. “We’re here to get the job done.”
Dubuque, who posted a 114-18 overall record during his college wrestling career, comes to IU with some experience coaching high-caliber teams. The Hofstra Pride finished 27th at last year’s NCAA championships.
Goldman praised Dubuque’s work at Hofstra University, which the former described as “a good program.” Goldman cited Dubuque’s work with several national qualifiers as examples of the returning Hoosier’s coaching skill.
Dubuque returned such praise, calling Goldman “a big reason why” he came to IU out of high school.
“We’re gonna have that same relationship where we’re both pushing each other and we both want the team to be great,” Dubuque said. Dubuque joins a program consistently ranked in the top 30 in the national scene.
Senior Angel Escobedo is a former national champion and could become the first four-time All-American in IU history. He headlines a squad that includes several other national qualifiers as well.
Dubuque said he thinks one of his greatest qualities as an assistant will be helping to motivate those wrestlers, making an instant impact his first year.
“I think I do a good job of motivating the athletes to work hard and get the job done and basically have them competing at another level,” he said. “I think that’s something I can bring.”