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Walsh Jesuit High School has hired Adam Koballa as the school's next head wrestling coach, the school announced July 17.

"Adam's dedication to wrestling and spirit of sportsmanship and fair play will be an inspiration and motivation for our young men," athletic director Barb Salata said in a prepared statement. "His experience and expertise, coupled with his knowledge about wrestling, will lead the Warriors to the next level of competition."

Koballa, who was a two-time state champion at St. Peter Chanel High School, was handpicked to take over the tradition-rich program by its founder, Bill Barger.

In two stints at the helm of the program since starting it in 1976, Barger led the Warriors to eight state championships. In April, he agreed to once again guide the program while also helping to locate the proper coach to lead the program for the foreseeable future.

After meeting with Koballa and watching him interact with the wrestlers at a recent camp at Walsh Jesuit, Barger found his successor.

"I came to Walsh for a small weekend camp and the rest was history," Koballa told USATodayhss.com/Cleveland while adding that he was interested in the position immediately following his first phone conversation with Barger.

Koballa most recently served as an assistant coach at a Nashville, Tenn., high school and as the head coach of the Nashville Catholic Wrestling Club. He currently serves as a junior development coach for USA Wrestling Ohio, and as the head coach of Arsenal Wrestling Club.

The 2011 Notre Dame College graduate said a multitude of factors made the Walsh Jesuit job unique and appealing to him.

"Walsh is well known throughout the country in the wrestling community, Walsh Jesuit hosts the prestigious Ironmen Wrestling Tournament, the North Akron Youth Wrestling Program is facilitated at Walsh, the administration and supporters are passionate about being successful and the school is a great academic institution that prides itself on helping others," Koballa said.

In the coming school year, Koballa said he plans to define the culture of the program and to foster the family atmosphere that once permeated it.

"I think it is important for the team to have structure and develop a positive relationship with one another and the coaches," Koballa said. "I want my athletes to have fun and let positive thinking, commitment and success bleed throughout the program and everyone involved."

Koballa, 25, possesses a bachelor's degree in sports management with a minor in coaching.

For more Northeast Ohio high school sports news, scores, photos and videos, visit USATodayhss.com/Cleveland.

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