Josh Moore was named Cleveland State’s head wrestling coach May 1, 2018.
Moore’s first season at Cleveland State saw the Vikings redshirt three returning starters, including preseason conference favorite Evan Cheek, as the coaching staff looked to build for the future. Youth was served as Moore helped guide a pair of freshmen, Ben Smith and Brady Barnett, to 18 and 17 wins, respectively, in their first seasons in CSU singlets. Smith was one of three Vikings to win a tournament during the 2018-19 season.
Moore’s first season was also highlighted by exciting developments off the mat as Cleveland State agreed to join the Mid-American Conference beginning in 2019-2020. The Vikings will now have two in-state conference rivals as they join the second-largest conference in DI wrestling.
Moore also led the Vikings to academic honors in his first season. CSU led the league in team grade point average in 2018-19 with its 3.23 mark and ranked among the top 20 nationally in the NWCA’s annual rankings. CSU’s team GPA was its second-highest such figure in the NWCA’s database.
Moore, a two-time All-American in his collegiate days at Penn State, brought 14 years of Division I coaching experience upon taking over the top spot at CSU.
Moore had served as the top assistant at Cleveland State over the three seasons prior to being named head coach and helped multiple individuals to noteworthy performances.
During the 2017-18 season, Evan Cheek won Outstanding Wrestler of the Eastern Wrestling League Championships honors after dominating en route to the 141-pound title. Cheek posted a pair of pins over competitors that earned automatic NCAA qualification, including winning by fall against an undefeated, top-five opponent in the championship bout. During the 2016-17 season, Nick Corba won two matches with bonus points at the NCAA Championships, the first Viking to achieve that feat in over 20 years.
A pair of Vikings, Riley Shaw and Sam Wheeler, reached the round of 16 at the 2016 NCAA Championships under Moore's guidance. Both reached 30 wins for the season while CSU tied for second in the EWL dual standings with a 4-2 mark.
"I feel honored and excited for the opportunity to lead this program and these amazing student-athletes into the future,” Moore said at the time of his hiring. “I plan on using the relationships that I have built over the past 20 years to help develop Cleveland State wrestling into a nationally competitive program while preparing our student-athletes for life after college. I'm ready to get to work and rewrite the record books here at CSU."
Immediately prior to his time at CSU, Moore spent 11 seasons as an assistant at Kent State. In his time at KSU, Moore was a key piece in helping to rebuild a program that had not had an All-American in nearly 20 years before his hiring. During Moore's tenure, the program had nine All-Americans, the program's first national champion and 54 national qualifiers. Kent State also finished the season ranked as a top 25 dual-meet team eight times.
In the decade prior to Moore’s arrival, Kent State averaged two NCAA qualifiers per season. In Moore’s time on staff, the Golden Flashes averaged 4.9 qualifiers per season. KSU had at least four qualifiers in each of his final 10 years at KSU and had a stretch of at least five qualifiers in six consecutive seasons. During the 2011-12 season, the Golden Flashes had a program-record seven qualifiers with Moore’s assistance.
The Golden Flashes went 7-12 in dual action in the season before Moore’s arrival but proceeded to post a .633 winning percentage (135-78-1) in his time on the staff. He also helped KSU to a 42-18-1 mark in Mid-American Conference duals, including undefeated conference marks in both the 2008-09 and 2011-12 seasons. During the 2008-09 season, Kent State ended Central Michigan’s 32-match winning streak within MAC duals. In Moore’s tenure, the Flashes also posted a variety wins over ranked opponents, including victories over Ohio State, Michigan and Missouri.
In Moore’s time coaching at Kent State, Golden Flash student-athletes won 19 MAC titles, four MAC Wrestler of the Year awards and four MAC Freshman of the Year honors. Kent State had at least one All-American in each of Moore's final seven seasons. When Dustin Kilgore won the national championship in 2011, he was not only the first champion in program history, but it was also the first by any MAC grappler in over a decade.
Moore has not only helped his teams improve on the wrestling mat but also in the classroom. Kent State had a 2.35 team grade point average before Moore's hiring, a mark that improved to over 3.0 beginning in 2012. In the 2013-14 season, at Kent State, and in the 2015-16 season, at Cleveland State, teams Moore worked with were among the top 15 nationally in team GPA.
Moore served as the recruiting coordinator for Kent State and garnered multiple top-20 ranked classes, recruiting heavily from Ohio and Pennsylvania, as his efforts in the role raised the Golden Flashes' stature in the Division I ranks.
Moore was a two-time NCAA All-American, finishing as a national runner-up in 2004 and a third-place finisher in 2003. He is the Penn State record holder for all-time matches wrestled (184), single-season pins (24) and senior wins (44) and is tied for the top spot in career pins (53). Moore, a two-time National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Academic First Team honoree, is third in career wins at Penn State with 146.
Moore's twin brother, Scott, is the current head wrestling coach at fellow MAC member Lock Haven University and was also an All-American at Penn State (2003) and the University of Virginia (2004).
Moore and his wife, Shianne, reside in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, with their three sons, Joshua (11), Jacob (9) and Jason (8), and their yellow lab, Nittany.
A native of Franklin, Pa., Moore graduated from Penn State in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts in crime, law & justice. Moore earned a Master of Arts degree in sports management from Kent State in 2009.