Jason ValekHead Coach
Alma Mater: Clemson '98
Office Phone: 321-5659
Head coach Jason Valek is entering his 11th season coaching Newberry and his 10th at the Division II level.
He was hired in the summer of 2004 to be the first wrestling coach in Newberry history. In his 10 years at the helm, Newberry has gone 163-41-2.
Valek has coached 63 NWCA and Division II National Qualifiers, 33 NCAA D-II All-Americans, three Division II National Champions, two Division II national runner-ups, two CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, an NCWA National Champion and three NCWA All-Americans.
From 2008-13 The Wolves won six consecutive top eight national finishes, six consecutive Super Region titles, three Super Region I Coaches Awards. Valek has raised the Newberry wrestling program into one of the top handful of teams in the nation.
The Wolves have finished in the top four at the National Duals in five of the last six seasons with runner-up finishes in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2014.
In 2013-14, the Wolves went 18-2 in dual action and qualified eight wrestlers for the NCAA Division II National Tournament. B.J. Young claimed his third career All-American honor with a sixth place finish at 141 lbs. Jared Holliday at 184 lbs. and Matt Wade at heavyweight also earned All-America honors. Newberry also claimed its highest finish in the team academic standings at 15th while finishing in 16th at the national. Holliday earned CoSIDA Academic All-America honors and he and teammate Seiji Borja were NWCA first team All-Academic.
In 2012-13, Newberry claimed its sixth consecutive NCAA Super Region I Championship, a sixth consecutive top eight national finish and fifth place honors at the NWCA National Duals. Newberry went 19-2 under Valek’s guidance. Nine wrestlers placed in the NCAA Super Region I Tournament with eight qualifying for the national tournament. Senior Deral Brown and junior Jeff Vesta earned All-American honors placing 4th at 149 and 125 lbs. respectively. Juniors Blake Ridenour and Joey Grisko placed 6th and 8th each earning their first All-American status. The 2013-14 Wolves' incoming recruiting class was ranked fourth in the non division one rankings by Amateur Wrestling News adding Brandon Thompson (133 – Solon, Ohio), Brandon Keller (141 – Sicklerville, N.J.), Trung Duong (125 – Lynchburg, Va.), Dennis Flores (157 – Hanahan, S.C.) and transfer Kayne Melko (157 – Bellaire, Ohio)
Valek is the past president of the NCAA Division II Wrestling Coaches Association and has been elected to the Board of Directors for the National Wrestling Coaches Association while serving as a convention presenter on topics such as “How to Build a Sustainable Program from The Ground Up”. He is also on the NCAA Wrestling Committee and serves on the South Carolina High School League’s Executive Committee as well as being a member of the NCAA Division II National Rankings Committee.
Valek is a 1998 graduate of Clemson University with a bachelor’s degree in sports management and a Leadership Academy Graduate of Michigan State.