CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. –Virginia head wrestling coach Steve Garland has signed a four-year contract extension through the 2022-23 season, director of athletics Carla Williams announced on Friday (July 12).
“Steve Garland is a tremendous representative of our University and a role model for our student-athletes,” Williams said. “As a former UVA student-athlete, he understands the challenges in the pursuit of excellence and he knows what it takes to succeed at the highest levels of competition. We look forward to continued growth and success under his leadership.”
Garland is entering his 14th season at the helm of the Virginia wrestling program after taking the reins prior to the 2006-07 season. He has coached the Cavaliers to a pair of ACC Championships (2010, 2015). In this time, he has also coached wrestlers to 11 All-America honors, 18 individual ACC Championships, two NCAA finals and 76 wrestlers have qualified for the NCAA Championships.
“In 2006, when I took over the program, I said this was my dream job and it still is,” Garland said. “I don’t want to serve anywhere else. My family and I believe God has us here for a reason. I love our team. I love our staff and I am all in with Carla Williams’ vision for the future of our athletic department. With the new Master Plan taking shape, we are positioned to accomplish great things at Virginia.”
This past season, Garland coached junior Jack Mueller (Dallas, Texas) to All-America honors for the second time as the 125-pounder advanced to the finals of the NCAA Championship. He is the fourth-ever NCAA finalist for the Cavaliers and second in the past three seasons. Mueller also claimed the ACC Championship at 125 pounds and was one of five wrestlers to qualify for the NCAA Championships. Mueller and 197-pound sophomore Jay Aiello (Chantilly, Va.) both earned national seeds for the NCAA Championships and were the highest-seeded wrestlers at their weight classes in program history. Aiello was the No. 7 seed, while Mueller was the No. 5 seed.
Under Garland’s tutelage, the Cavaliers have qualified at least five wrestlers for the NCAA Championships in 10 of the last 11 seasons and have had at least one wrestler earn All-America honors in eight of his 14 seasons at the helm of the program, including eight of the last 11 seasons. Virginia has also finished in the top 25 of the team standings at the NCAA Championships in seven of the last 10 seasons.