Sept. 24, 2016

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia head wrestling coach Steve Garland announced the hiring of Mark Ellis, a former NCAA Champion and two-time All-American at heavyweight, as an assistant coach on Saturday (Sept. 24).

Ellis comes to the Cavaliers after most recently serving as an assistant coach at Grand Canyon University for the 2014-15 season.

“We are thrilled to be welcoming Mark Ellis to the Virginia wrestling family,” Garland said. “Mark has won at the highest levels of Division I wrestling. He won an individual NCAA title as a student-athlete at Missouri where he competed for, and coached with, one of the greatest minds in our profession in Brian Smith. In addition to Coach Smith, Mark has learned from guys like Heath Enslinger (at Chattanooga) and Jon Sioredas (at Chattanooga and Grand Canyon) – two men that I highly respect as well.

“When you think about that type of mentorship and the program culture he was developed under at Missouri, I think he can help our program in a plethora of ways,” Garland said. “Family is also really important to Mark and I trust he will set a great example for our team off the mat as well.”

Prior to his stint at Grand Canyon, Ellis served as an assistant coach at Chattanooga where he helped guide the Mocs into the top 20 of the national rankings during the 2013-14 season. Chattanooga won the Southern Conference Championship that season and sent five wrestlers to the NCAA Championships.

A two-time All-American at Missouri, Ellis claimed the 2009 NCAA Championship after entering the championships as the second-seeded wrestler at heavyweight. He defeated five nationally-ranked wrestlers as a part of his championship run, including a 3-2 win over No. 5 Konrad Dudziak of Duke in tiebreakers to clinch the title. Ellis posted a 31-3 record overall during that year, the fifth-best winning percentage (.912) in a single season at Missouri.

He was the first wrestler to earn All-America status as a heavyweight at Missouri and only the second NCAA Champion in program history.

Ellis closed out his Tiger career with a 90-39 record and was the program’s Most Outstanding Wrestler in 2009. He captured the Ed Lampitt Award in 2010 and currently ranks sixth all-time in career falls, pinning 30 opponents in his career.