(WARRENSBURG, Mo.) – University of Central Missouri Mules Wrestling head coach Justin Ensign has announced the hiring of Blake Gillis and John Conner McDonald to his staff. Gillis is the Mules’ new assistant coach while McDonald is the new graduate assistant.
Gillis comes to Central Missouri from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa where he was a four-time All-American, four-time NCAA Finalist, and won a national title in 2007. Gillis also won two team national championships and had a pair of runner-up finishes.
Gillis previously coached the Mules from 2008 to December of 2009 on a team that had three All-Americans before he left to train full-time in freestyle wrestling. He placed fourth in the 2010 U.S. Open and qualified for the 2010 World Team Trials.
The Spencer, Iowa native earned his bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts with an emphasis in Public Relations from Wartburg in 2008 and is currently working towards his master’s degree in Sports and Exercise Science Administration at UCM.
Gillis and his wife, Krystal, have a two year old son, Grayson.
McDonald comes to UCM from Newberry College in Newberry, S.C. where he was an NCAA All-American, finishing third in 2010. Prior to transferring to Newberry in 2010, McDonald attended and wrestled at Lehigh University. McDonald was a two year varsity letter winner at Lehigh, finishing fifth and sixth at the EIWA Championships in 2009 and 2010.