Steve Costanzo will begin his 13th season as head coach at St. Cloud State in 2018-19. He is the 13th coach in the history of the St. Cloud State University wrestling program, which dates back to 1949-50.
Costanzo also begins his 20th season overall as a college head coach. He has a career record of 249-58-2 while coaching 150 National Qualifiers, 87 All-Americans, 7 National Champions and 112 NWCA All-Academic recipients. His overall record at SCSU currently stands at 188-28. Costanzo's Huskies won the NCAA Division II national championship in 2018, 2016 and 2015 and his team at Dana College won the NAIA national title in 2006.
MAKE IT THREE!
In 2017-18, SCSU won its third NCAA Division II championship while charting a perfect 19-0, 8-0 NSIC dual record. The Huskies won the 2018 NCAA DII Super 3 Regional along with the 2018 NSIC Championship and the 2018 NWCA DII National Duals crown. The Huskies sent 10 wrestlers to the NCAA DII championships and saw six of those wrestlers bring back All-America honors including runner-up places by Vince Dietz (197), Larry Bomstad (157) and James Pleski (149).
In 2016-17, SCSU won its sixth consecutive NSIC championship while posting a 17-1, 8-0 NSIC record. The Huskies won top honors at the 2017 NCAA Division II Super 3 Regional and claimed the title at the 2017 NWCA Division II National Duals. The Huskies sent nine wrestlers to the NCAA DII championships and four of those athletes against All-America honors in 2017. Costanzo earned NSIC Coach of the Year status in 2016-17 and Austin Goergen received the NCAA Most Dominant Wrestler award at the NCAA championships and James Pleski was the NSIC Rookie of the Year in 2017.
DIVISION COACH OF THE YEAR
Costanzo was named the NWCA Division II Coach of the Year after leading the Huskies to their second NCAA Division II national title in 2016. The Huskies posted 90 points to win the title, while Notre Dame (OH) was second with 82.0 points. SCSU was paced at the tournament by Brett Velasquez, who won the title at 125-pounds. All six of SCSU's national qualifiers gained All-America status in 2016, including Austin Goergen (3rd at 285), Clint Poster (3rd at 165), Matt Nelson (5th at 141), Jay Hildreth (4th at 149), Clayton Jennissen (7th at 174) and Uthman Rabiu (8th at 184).
SCSU placed second at the 2016 NCAA DII Super 3 Regional and also won its fifth consecutive NSIC championship. Costanzo was named the NSIC Coach of the Year, while Clint Poster was the NSIC Wrestler of the Year and Brett Velasquez was the NSIC Rookie of the Year.
St. Cloud State University captured its first-ever NCAA Division II wrestling championship in 2015. This marked the first time in school history that a team from St. Cloud State has won a national title in any sport. SCSU won the team title with 84.5 points, while Nebraska Kearney placed second at 75.5 points in the tournament that was held in St. Louis, Mo.
SCSU was led at the NCAA championships by Tim Prescott, who won a national title at 125-pounds. All six of SCSU's national qualifiers gained All-America status in 2015, including Austin Goergen with a second place finish at 285-pounds and third place finishes by Clint Poster (157) and Gabe Fogarty (165).
The Huskies placed second at the 2015 NCAA Division II Super Regional, won their fourth consecutive NSIC championship in 2014-15 and placed third at the 2015 NWCA DII National Duals. Costanzo gained NSIC Coach of the Year accolades in 2014-15.
In 2013-14, the Huskies won their third consecutive NSIC championship and placed sixth at the NCAA DII championships. SCSU also placed third at the 2014 NWCA DII National Duals and third at the 2014 NCAA DIvision II Super 3 Regional. The Huskies capped the year by setting a new NCAA DIvision II record by posting 54 consecutive wins. The streak ended in 2013-14 wth a 23-16 loss to national champion Notre Dame (Ohio).
In 2012-13, the Huskies completed their second consecutive perfect season at 21-0. SCSU captured first place in the NSIC and also won top honors at the 2013 NWCA Division II National Duals. To cap the year, SCSU won its third consecutive NCAA DII Super Region 3 title and placed as the runner-up at the 2013 NCAA DII championships for the third consecutive season.
At the NCAA championships in 2013, Husky Shamus O'Grady won the championship at 184-pounds and was named the Outstanding Wrestler at the NCAA championships. Costanzo was named the NSIC Coach of the Year and the Huskies also set a new team record by posting 105.0 points at the NCAA championships.
In 2011-12, the Huskies scored a perfect 21-0 dual meet record and captured top honors in the NSIC at 7-0. St. Cloud State brought home a first place finish at the NWCA Division II National Duals in 2012 and also won the 2012 NCAA Division II Super Region 3 team title.
For the second consecutive season in 2012, SCSU finished as the runner-up at the NCAA Division II championships. SCSU's Derek Skala won an individual title for the Huskies at 184-pounds and Husky Tad Merritt received the 2012 NCAA Division II Most Dominant Wrestler and Most Falls award at the NCAA championships. Costanzo gained both Regional and NSIC Coach of the Year honors in 2011 and 2012.
In 2010-11, SCSU placed second in the nation at the 2011 NCAA Division II championships, won the 2011 NCAA Division II Super Region #3 title and set a team record with a 19-2 dual meet record in 2010-11. Coach Costanzo was named the 2011 NCAA Division II Coach of the Year and senior wrestler John Sundgren won a national title at 157-pounds for the Huskies.
The second place national finish was the highest national tournament finish for the Huskies in team history, and the Huskies also posted a solid third place finish at the elite NWCA National Duals in 2011.
In 2009-10, SCSU posted a 14-7 overall record and placed 7th in the nation at the NCAA Division II championships. At the 2010 NCAA Super Regional, the Huskies placed 2nd and SCSU also placed third in the NSIC race at 5-2 in 2009-10. SCSU advanced eight grapplers to the NCAA finals in 2010, and they also saw four of those athletes earn All-American status in 2010. This marked SCSU's best national finish since 1983.
In 2008-09, Costanzo’s Huskies finished their campaign with an 8-5 (5-2 NSIC) mark. The Huskies also advanced eight wrestlers to the NCAA Division II Championships and they saw three of those wrestlers earn All-American status. At the 2009 NCAA Division II Championships, SCSU placed 8th as a team.
In 2006, Costanzo led Dana College to the NAIA National Championship (with a tourney record 193 points) and a NWCA National Duals Championship. His squads while at Dana College won Great Plains Athletic Conference titles in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006. In addition, his teams claimed Regional Championships in 2001, 2002, 2005 and 2006. The Vikings finished with top 10 finishes at the NAIA National Championships in 2004, 2005 and 2006.
Success in the Classroom
Costanzo’s student-athletes have enjoyed success off the mat as well. In the past seasons, his wrestling teams have recorded top-20 grade point averages nationally - as recorded by the NAIA and NCAA Division II National Wrestling Coaches Association. In 2005-06, while at Dana College, his team finished in 2nd place with a team grade point average of a 3.175. In 2006-07, his SCSU wrestler’s finished in 14th place with a GPA of 3.029. In 2007-08, the Huskies finished in 8th place with a GPA of 3.219. In 2008-09, the Huskies finished in 19th place. During the 2009-10 campaign, the SCSU Huskies finished 2nd in the nation among DII teams with a team GPA of 3.354. In 2010-11, SCSU ranked 12th in the nation with a team GPA of 3.154, it ranked 19th in the nation in 2011-12 and seventh in 2012-13. In 2013-14, SCSU ranked 19th among DII schools.
In 2003, Costanzo was credited with the NAIA Robert Bubb Coaching Excellence Award which epitomizes the qualities and characteristics of a role model and mentor for developing young student-athletes. In 2005, he served as the NWCA All-Star team coach at Oklahoma State University. Costanzo received the NWCA and NAIA Coach of the Year honors in 2006, and gained NAIA Regional Coach of the Year accolades in 2005 and 2006.
Costanzo was a three-time NCAA Division II All-American and two-time North Central Conference champion for the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He placed seventh in 1993, third in 1994 and third in 1995 at the NCAA Championships. Costanzo was named native Nebraskan Collegiate Wrestler of the Year in 1994. He currently ranks as high as seventh on UNO’s all-time win list with 133 career victories as a collegiate wrestler.
For his wrestling accomplishments as a student-athlete, Costanzo was inducted into the 2006 NSWCA - Nebraska Scholastic Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
A native of Bennington, Nebraska, Costanzo has a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a master’s degree in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation from Emporia State University. He and his wife Nancy have five children: Cassandra, Sam, Katie, Brock and Lacey.