Joel Greenlee is entering his 17th season as the head coach of the Bobcat wrestling program after helped five individuals earn bids for the 2013 NCAA Wrestling Championships.
In addition to the Bobcats' individual success, Ohio also posted one of its finest seasons as a team under Greenlee as it finished the 2012-13 campaign 29th at the NCAA Championships and posted an 11-5 record in dual competition. Ohio finished the year strong by winning its final seven dual matches, including a 22-16 victory over Michigan State, which marked the Bobcats' first win over the Spartans since the 1929-30 season.
In 2012, under Greenlee's watchful eye, three Bobcats - Jeremy Johnson, Nick Purdue and Ryan Garringer - earned bids to the NCAA Championships after each placed in the top three at the MAC Championships. Johnson and Purdue each won their respective weight classes at the MAC Championships. As a team, the Bobcats took fourth at the 2012 MAC Wrestling Championships.
Johnson would go on to earn All-America honors at the NCAA Championships as a sophomore and posted a final record of 35-7. During the 2010-11 campaign, Greenlee directed the Bobcats to Mid-American Conference regular season title.
In 2009-10, the team compiled a 12-5 overall dual record and a 3-2 mark in the league, good for third place in the regular season. Erik Schuth (197 pounds) became Ohio's 101st MAC Champion and the Bobcats sent an impressive five wrestlers to the NCAA Championships, where Germane Lindsey (141 pounds) became the 18th Bobcat All-American.
He was hired as an assistant/interim head coach in 1997-98 due to an illness of then-head coach Harry Houska. Greenlee was then named the full-time head coach before the 1998-99 season.
In 2007-08, the team finished with a 6-16 overall record and 0-5 in the MAC, with a tie for fourth place in the conference tournament to close out the year. Freshman Germane Lindsey qualified for the NCAA tournament, going 1-2 and leading the team in wins for the year with 20.
Three Bobcat wrestlers placed at the 2008 MAC Championship, including sophomore Kevin Christensen, who finished second at 149 pounds. Greenlee also had two student-athletes make the MAC All-Academic Team, Christensen and fellow sophomore Seth Morton.
The previous season, his team posted more dual meet wins than in any of his previous nine years. The Bobcats posted a 16-8 overall record in dual meets in 2006-07, besting the 15 wins Greenlee's 1999-2000 Bobcats totaled. The win was a vast improvement from the 11-11 overall record Ohio finished with the season before.
Under Greenlee's tutelage in 2006-07, sophomore Jake Frerichs earned a wildcard birth to national competition and redshirt freshman Jacob Ison won 31 matches and was named a second alternate at 165 pounds. Senior Marcus Adelman went 21-9 in 2006-07, including 13-2 in his final 15 matches, under Greenlee's watch. All-in-all, the Bobcats had eight wrestlers post winning records while four wrestlers took second or third place at the 2007 MAC Championship.
Ohio suffered injuries throughout its lineup during the 2005-06 season and completed the year with an 11-11 record. Competing with a young and inexperienced squad, the Bobcats posted dual-meet victories over North Carolina State and Virginia Tech. With an 18-16 win over West Virginia on Feb. 10, Ohio gave Greenlee the 100th victory of his coaching career.
At the 2005 NCAA Championships, Greenlee guided Jake Percival to a third-place finish at 157 pounds. In the process, Percival became the first four-time All-American in MAC history. As a team, the Bobcats placed 26th in the nation with 21.5 points.
At the 2005 MAC Championships, Percival was named MAC Wrestler of the Year for the third straight time and Most Outstanding Wrestler of the MAC Tournament for the second year in a row after becoming just the third grappler in MAC history to win four individual titles.
Ohio managed a 10-12-1 record in 2004-05 despite competing with a depleted lineup at times. Eight of the Bobcats' 10 starters at the beginning of the year missed all or part of the season. The team still recorded wins over Ohio State, Virginia and Old Dominion, however, and posted a 3-2 record for a third-place finish in the MAC. Six of the squad's losses came to nationally ranked programs.
In 2003-04, Ohio went 8-6 overall and finished in a tie for third place in the MAC with a 2-3 record, finishing third at the MAC Championships. Two Bobcat wrestlers - Percival at 157 pounds and heavyweight Jeremiah Beltran - claimed MAC titles while a third, Joel Weimer, joined them at the NCAA Championships as a wild card entry in the 197-pound weight class.
Percival was less than 40 seconds away from being Ohio's fifth national champion but had to settle for second place and his third straight All-American performance. With Weimer winning two of his matches and Beltran winning one, the Bobcats finished 25th as a team, their best finish since tying for ninth in 1998.
For the second straight year, Percival earned MAC Wrestler-of-the-Year honors after heading into the NCAA Championships with a perfect record. The Elyria native also claimed the Outstanding MAC Tournament Wrestler award for winning both his matches in such dominant fashion.
During the 2002-03 season, Greenlee led a young Bobcat squad to a 9-8 record (2-3 in the MAC) and a third-place finish at the MAC Championships. Two wrestlers, Percival at 149 pounds and Anthony Carrizales at 133, qualified for the NCAA Tournament with Percival placing fifth for his second straight All-American finish.
In 2002, Greenlee guided three Ohio wrestlers into the national tournament with Percival placing fourth as a freshman. The year before, the Bobcats won their first MAC Tournament title under Greenlee's tenure and the 15th in the history of the program. As a result, he was named the 2001 MAC Coach of the Year.
Greenlee's accomplishments during his first season at Ohio earned him the NWCA National Assistant-Coach-of-the-Year award in 1998. His 1997-98 team finished ninth at the NCAA Tournament - the Bobcats' best finish since 1973 - and won the regular-season MAC title with a 5-0 record in the conference. He coached Dwight Gardner (158) to the school's first individual national title since 1978 and guided Shawn Enright (134) to a second-place national finish.
Prior to coming to Ohio, Greenlee was an assistant coach at the University of Northern Iowa from 1989-97. While at Northern Iowa, the Panthers compiled a 70-58 record.
Greenlee also had a stellar wrestling career in his own right. While competing as a heavyweight at Northern Iowa, he was a two-time All-American, finishing second in 1989 and fourth in 1988. In 1989, Greenlee was champion at the prestigious Midlands Tournament and Midwest Championships and was named the Outstanding Wrestler at both meets. Greenlee still holds the highest winning percentage in school history with a 127-16-4 (.878) career record. He also holds the Panther records for dual victories (58) and dual victories in a season (20 in 1986-87).
Greenlee has also enjoyed success at the international level. He finished second at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in 1992 and was selected as a training partner for the Olympic Team. He won the Cerra Pelado Tournament in Cuba in 1993 and the Cuban All-Star Tournament in 1992. He placed third three times at the John E. du Post World Team Trials.
During his time at Northern Iowa, Greenlee was also the camp director for the Northern Iowa wrestling camps. He was assistant camp director for the Bruce Baumgartner Heavyweight Wrestling School from 1993-97.
He and his wife, Roxann, have a son, Walker, and a daughter, Madison.