Coach Josh Watts heads into his ninth year at the helm of Iowa Western’s wrestling program. Prior to Iowa Western, Watts spent four years as head coach at Darton College, Georgia.
In the first eight seasons at Iowa Western Coach Watts has produced 73 National Qualifiers with 25 All-Americans. He has also lead the team to a 4th place finish at National Duals along with top 25, top 20, top 15, top 10, and two top 5 finishes at the NJCAA National Tournament.
In 2001, Watts graduated as one of Iowa’s most prolific high school wrestlers. His career mark of 190-4 represented the single most wins for any individual in the history of the state, and his 114 career pins were also enough for the state’s sixth-best all-time. Ranked fourth nationally, Watts exited high school a much sought after wrestler by many colleges and universities. Earlier this year (2019) Watts was inducted into the IAHSAA Wrestling Hall of Fame for his storied career at Davenport Assumption. After high school, Coach Watts took a scholarship opportunity from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Unfortunately, serious knee problems and injuries prevented him from competing at the level to which he was accustomed. After two years at Northern Iowa, Watts transferred to Loras College where he was a two-year varsity letter-winner.
Since completing his career on the mat in 2005, Watts has made the move from wrestler to coach. From 2005-2007, he served as an assistant wrestling coach at Loras College under long-time Loras head coach Randy Steward. Learning behind such a successful coach allowed Watts to gain many insights into the various nuances of the world of coaching wrestlers.
In 12 years as a head coach Watts has produced a total of 103 National Qualifiers and 31 All-Americans on the mat.