All-Navy wrestler Josh Walbom has been tapped to coach the Falcons.
Walbom is a 2007 graduate of Firelands High School and has earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Tiffin University. He works a correctional officer in Lagrange.
As head wrestling coach, he’ll take over a Firelands team that finished second in this year’s Patriot Athletic Conference tournament behind Buckeye and sent Payton Burgdorf to the state competition, where he finished fourth — the highest finish in school history.
Walbom was most recently a wrestler on the All-Navy Wrestling Team, the first U.S. Coast Guard member to make the team in nearly a decade. He was a two-time member of the All-Navy team and competed in the Armed Forces Championships and the U.S. Open.
He earned the Coast Guard Achievement Medal in large part due to his success on the All-Navy team, where he amassed a regional championship as well as a regional runner-up in 2014.
Walbom enlisted in the Coast Guard in 2011 and served in a search and rescue unit on UNS Support Base Panama City. He received an honorable discharge in 2016 after a decorated enlistment.
He spent two seasons at the Olympic training site in Marquette, Mich., and was among the top Greco-Roman wrestlers in the country. As a folkstyle wrestler, he was a starter in the Tiffin University inaugural NCAA Division II season in 2010 and prior to that spent time wrestling at Kent State.
His career wrestling record stands at 133-41.
“We are very excited to add a coach with such a great passion for not only wrestling, but for the Firelands community,” said athletic director Ty Stillman. “Josh came highly recommended and will join a staff that has helped this program flourish over the past few years. With what Josh Malave was able to begin, and coach (Dan) Ransom, (Andrew) Perez, and (Will) Leatherbury were able to keep going, the sky is the limit for the Falcons wrestling program.”