JCA hires Ryan Cumbee as Associate Head Wrestling Coach

Ryan Cumbee

Joliet Catholic Academy athletic director Mr. Dan Sharp is proud to announce the hiring of Ryan Cumbee as its new associate head wrestling coach. Cumbee will work alongside long-time assistant football coach and wrestling head coach Cory “Mac” McLaughlin to take the wrestling program to new heights.

Cumbee is no stranger to the local wrestling community, starring in high school on the mat at Providence Catholic. Cumbee capped an impressive high school wrestling career with a 46-0 individual record as a senior, capturing the IHSA Class AA state title at 135 pounds. The state title added to an impressive array of hardware for Cumbee, which included 168 individual wins, three straight dual-team championships, three straight individual semifinal appearances, and three All-State medals. All of that added up to collegiate scholarship to wrestle in the Big Ten at Northwestern University, where he earned a B.A. in Applied Sciences/Communication Studies in 2003.

After serving nine years as an assistant at Providence, Cumbee took over the reigns at Marmion Academy in 2012, leading the program to unprecedented success. From 2012- 2015, during his tenure as head coach, the Cadets won multiple IHSA Regional and Sectional Champions, and earned three consecutive IHSA State Finals berths (2nd place in 2013, 3rd place in 2014 and State qualifier in 2015). 20 Marmion wrestlers were IHSA State Qualifiers, 15 wrestlers were named All-State, and five wrestlers captured individual state championships.

Cumbee hopes to bring that same recipe for success over to the Hilltoppers. He said, “As long as I’ve been in this sport I’ve known coach “Mac”. I’m excited to be able to work alongside him to build this program little by little…sustained success by doing things the right way”.

Part of Cumbee’s no frills, hard work-type attitude stems from an over 20-year relationship with current Hilltoper football strength coach and area strength training Hall of Famer Francis “Rudy” Ruettiger. It also makes a transition to Joliet Catholic easy for Cumbee. “My relationship with Joliet Catholic began in ’96 working out at Rudy’s Gym. I learned about the tradition working alongside other area athletes. To me “Rudy” is one of the faces of Joliet Catholic, and is a role model and man I have the utmost respect for”. He added, “there’s a great athletic and academic tradition here, strong alumni support, and a family like atmosphere”.

Sharp added, “I’m excited about bringing in a coach with Ryan’s experience, reputation, and character. We are confident that together with Coach “Mac” they can take the Hilltopper wrestling program to the next level”.

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