The Athletic Department of Calumet College of St. Joseph proudly announces the hiring of Joseph Gilbert as the new head coach for the Crimson Wave wrestling program. Gilbert, a Chicagoland native, was a four-time Illinois high school AA state champion at Andrew High School during the late 1980’s. The Illinois high school standout took his grappling skills to the University of Michigan where he achieved Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 1990. He we go on to become a two-time NCAA Division-I All-American at 134 pounds during his sophomore (3 rd place) and junior (6 th place) year as a Wolverine at Michigan. In 1995 Gilbert finished his collegiate career as a Bronco at Boise State University and qualified for the NCAA championship for the fourth time at 150 pounds. Gilbert eared his bachelor’s in Communication while at BSU.
“We have identified another quality head wrestling coach for our Crimson Wave program who will lead out student-athletes to accomplish more success on the mat and in the classroom,” states Athletic Director Peter Haze Haring. “Joe will provide excellent instruction, solid leadership and a strong work ethic as he builds the wrestling program into a national contending team. We are excited to have someone of Joe’s caliber part our of Crimson Wave family.”
Gilbert’s coaching career began as an assistant coach for the University of Chicago before becoming the head coach at Oak Lawn Community High School. His most recent head coaching position was at Marian Catholic High School where he led the Knights program for the past six seasons and rebuilt the boys wrestling team into a top ten program in Illinois.
Gilbert says enthusiastically, “I have always wanted to coach at the collegiate level even while I was competing. I think the NAIA is a good fit for my coaching style and CCSJ is a great fit being in Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland. We have some of the strongest wrestlers in the country in this area.”
The sport of wrestling for Gilbert spilt into the mixed martial arts arena where he acquired a 2-3 overall record. The mixed martial arts competitor’s most prolific fight occurred during UFC 31 against B.J. Penn former UFC Lightweight Champion. Currently Joe and his brother, Danny, own and operate the Gilbert Grappling –G2 Training Center located in Country Club Hills, IL. The center’s mission is to provide a quality wrestling training environment for youth and adult students.
“Starting day one my first priority is to set a winning tone and positive attitude.” Gilbert goes on to say, “The guys have to realize right away that I am here for them and CCSJ is here for them, that we are all in this together.”