COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ross Thatcher has been named the volunteer assistant coach for the Ohio State wrestling team, head coach Tom Ryan announced. Thatcher was the volunteer strength and conditioning coach for the Buckeyes from 2005-08.

“As a native of Columbus, we are excited about having Ross involved with the program again,” Ryan said. He has a passion to teach and understands the skills and consistency needed to develop talent.”

Most recently, Thatcher served as the volunteer assistant coach at Oklahoma, a position he held since 2009. Thatcher was part of the coaching staff that helped the Sooners finish fifth at the 2010 NCAA Championships.

A graduate of Bishop Ready High School, Thatcher began his coaching career at his alma mater, Penn State in 2000. An assistant coach for the Nittany Lions until 2003, Thatcher continued his coaching career at Ohio State. He was part of the Buckeye coaching staff that guided the Scarlet and Gray to its first of two runner-up finishes at the NCAA championships in 2008. During that season, the Buckeyes boasted three NCAA finalists – J Jaggers, Mike Pucillo, and J.D. Bergman – with Jaggers and Pucillo winning NCAA titles.

Overall, Thatcher has assisted in coaching 30 All-Americans, five national finalists and three NCAA champions.

A three-time finalist and two-time Ohio state champion for Bishop Ready, Thatcher was a four-time letterwinner at Penn State. In 2000, he was named team captain and capped his career by garnering All-America honors.

Following his career at PSU, Thatcher wrestled for the New York Athletic Club, where he was a two-time Sunkist International Open champion, champion at the New York Athletic Club International Open, Dave Schultz International Open champion and was named Northeast Regional Outstanding Wrestler and champion.

Additionally, he was a Bronze medalist for the 2001 U.S. Pan-American team and was a member of the U.S. World University Games Freestyle and Greco Roman squads.

In 2006, Thatcher served as former Buckeye, World Team member and Olympic alternate Tommy Rowlands’ training partner in preparation for the world championships and Olympics. Additionally, Thatcher was an assistant coach for the 2006 USA Junior Fila world team.

While working with the Sooners, the Columbus, Ohio, native created Oklahoma Elite, a kids club that reached No. 1 in the state, while also winning the Tulsa national tournament. Thatcher has extensive experience with grassroots efforts of building wrestling kids’ clubs programs as he was instrumental in establishing the Nittany Lion Kids Club in State College, Pa., and the Buckeye Wrestling Club in Columbus. Thirteen of Thatcher’s kids’ club participants are currently wrestling at the collegiate level.

Thatcher graduated from Penn State in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in health and human development. Thatcher arrives in Columbus with his wife, Jen and daughter Emma.