Share

Tommy Rowlands ends coaching career, J Jaggers named volunteer assistant coach

COLUMBUS, Ohio Tom Ryan, Ohio State head coach, announced Monday Tommy Rowlands, former Buckeye and two-time NCAA champion, would be ending his official capacity on the Buckeye coaching staff while continuing to support the program as the executive director of the Ohio Region Training Center. Ryan, who led Ohio State to its second-consecutive second-place finish at the NCAA championships in 2009, welcomes another Buckeye two-time national title winner to his staff in J Jaggers as the volunteer assistant coach for the 2009-10 season.

“It has been an honor to work alongside Tommy Rowlands the past three years,” Ryan said. “He was a leader here as a student-athlete and that passion spilled over into his coaching.  He will be missed; however we know his assistance to this program as an alum will parallel the energy he gave as an athlete and coach.”

Throughout his three years on Ryan’s coaching staff, Rowlands has helped his alma mater to its national prominence while also training for the 2008 Olympics with Ohio State assistant coach Lou Rosselli. Rowlands owned the No. 1 ranking in Team USA standings at 264.5 pounds last spring during which time he captured the 2008 U.S. National Freestyle Wrestling Championships in Las Vegas and earned a gold medal at the Pan American Championships.

An Ohio State letterwinner from 2001-04, Rowlands won the NCAA heavyweight title in 2002 and 2004, becoming just the second Buckeye to earn two national titles and the first to earn All-America honors each of his four seasons. A native of Hilliard, Ohio, Rowlands is the all-time leader at Ohio State in career wins (164), career team points (702) and career takedowns (705).

“It has been an incredible honor to be a part of the Ohio State athletics department for the past 10 years,” Rowlands said. “Although I have chosen a different career path, my loyalty and support remains with the Buckeyes. I plan to cheer with the rest of Buckeye nation when our program reaches the goal of being NCAA champions. 

“I can’t thank Tom Ryan and Lou Rosselli enough for their flexibility and tutelage in allowing me to coach the program I love while attempting to fulfill my Olympic dream.” 

Rowlands, who is leaving to pursue a career in the business world, lives in Hilliard with his wife, Elizabeth, and their daughter, Ellie.

Jaggers, who capped his four-year career with NCAA titles at 141 pounds in 2008 and 2009, will join the Buckeye coaching staff in the position left vacant by Rowlands.

“A homegrown Buckeye, J Jaggers has been a great role model and leader for this program as a student-athlete,” Ryan said. “As a leader in the classroom, an All-American and two-time NCAA champion, I am proud J has accepted a position on our staff. He will impact this program as a coach the way he did as a competitor.”

A native of Northfield, Ohio, Jaggers was a letterwinner for the Scarlet and Gray from 2006-09, earning three All-America honors during his career. Besides winning on the mat, the communication major was an Academic All-Big Ten honoree, an NWCA All-Academic team member and OSU Scholar-Athlete.

“I am very grateful for the opportunity to join a great staff for a wonderful institution such as Ohio State,” Jaggers said. “I have been a Buckeye my whole life and am excited to bring success to the program in a different capacity than as a student-athlete. Hopefully, I can affect student-athletes as positively as Tom Ryan, Lou Rosselli, Joe Heskett and Tommy Rowlands did for me.”