Goldman retires as IU wrestling coach; Escobedo named replacement

Duane Goldman is calling it a career.

Goldman, the all-time winningest coach in Indiana University wrestling history, announced Thursday that he is retiring and handing over the program to former Hoosier All-American Angel Escobedo.

“We appreciate the significant contributions that Duane has made in building Indiana Wrestling and developing outstanding wrestlers who have excelled at a national level and have represented the program and the university well,” IU athletic director Fred Glass said. “He has left a great and lasting mark on our wrestling program.”

Goldman’s decision ends a 26-year run in Bloomington, where he coached three NCAA champions (Escobedo in 2008 and Joe Dubuque in 2005 and 2006), five NCAA finalists, 30 All-Americans, 113 NCAA qualifiers and had 13 teams place in the top 25 at the NCAA Championships.

The former Iowa standout was an NCAA champion during his own college days and has since received induction to the National Wrestling and University of Iowa halls of fame.

“As Indiana University proceeds into what I believe will be its athletic Golden Age, with unbelievable new facilities and support being provided, I have decided that it is the perfect time for me to retire from coaching and allow a new era of IU greats to emerge,” Goldman said.

“Myself, along with many dedicated assistants and tremendous wrestlers, worked amazingly hard to bring distinction to Indiana Wrestling and I am proud of the battles we fought, the perseverance we demonstrated and the successes we had. More than anything, I am pleased to have maintained my integrity and thankful to have long been a part of the greatest sport on Earth.”

Escobedo is now set to become only the eighth coach in the 97-year history of Indiana’s wrestling program.

The past few years have helped prepare Escobedo for the task.

While training full-time as a professional wrestler, he spent three years on Iowa State’s coaching staff from 2015 to 2017. Escobedo returned to IU last April as the Hoosiers’ associate head coach under Goldman.

“This was a dream of mine when I set out as a coach, to come back here and run this program,” Escobedo said. “It’s a huge opportunity and I’m really grateful for it. I’m excited to build this program off of what Duane established and continue to raise the bar.”

Escobedo certainly raised the bar while wrestling at IU. In addition to his 2008 NCAA title at 125 pounds, Escobedo was also a three-time Big Ten champion (2008, 2009 and 2010) for the Hoosiers. He’s the program’s only four-time All-American, and his 137 career wins (second) and 42 pins (third) rank among the best marks in IU history.

“One of the outstanding wrestlers that Duane brought to IU was Angel, and we are very excited about the future of Indiana wrestling under his leadership,” Glass said. “As a wrestler, he excelled at the high school, collegiate and international levels. As a coach, he has mentored All-Americans and NCAA qualifiers. With a new state-of-the-art $17 million facility set to open, Angel is the right person to lead the program into this new, exciting era.”