Today, Morgan State University announced that they have secured three-time Olympian, Kenny Monday as their new men’s wrestling coach.

Monday is more than qualified for the role, as his accomplishments include being the first Black wrestler in history to win an Olympic gold medal and a National Wrestling Hall of Fame inductee. He most recently served as the director of wrestling and head wrestling coach at Spire Academy, an international high school and postgraduate sports performance training and education complex.

Monday has held positions as the head freestyle wrestling coach at the UNC Chapel Hill Training Center; head wrestling coach for the UFC’s Team Takedown MMA and Blackzillion MMA; co-head coach at Oklahoma State University, assistant wrestling coach for the 2012 Summer Olympics; and assistant wrestling coach at Bishop Lynch High School in Dallas, Texas.  In all, Monday has coached 30 national champions and 50 All-Americans.

This is a major win for the wrestling team at Morgan State since making their comeback after a 25-year hiatus.

Wrestling is officially back at the National Treasure, Morgan State University! With the hiring of Coach Monday and the vast, winning experience he brings from competing at the highest echelons, we are certain to return to our championship glory and become a destination for student-athletes desiring top-level coaching and exceptional academic programs,” said David K. Wilson, Morgan State University president. “It isn’t every day that you can bring in a leader the caliber of Coach Kenny Monday…someone who has successfully competed and coached at the high school, collegiate and professional levels and has won throughout his career. So, when there was a mutual interest in having him become a part of the Morgan family, we made it happen without hesitation.”

Kenny Monday winning the Olympic gold medal in 1988

In October 2021, Morgan announced their wrestling comeback after receiving the largest-ever donation to the university’s athletics department in $2.7 million from HBCU Wrestling (HBCUW), a new initiative reestablishing wrestling programs on HBCU campuses.

Kerry McCoy, the president of HBCU Wrestling says he is proud of how he and his team worked with Morgan State to bring in Kenny Monday. “Kenny Monday is an icon in the world of wrestling and has inspired so many. He has the ability to mobilize the Morgan alumni and the local community to generate support for the program. We look forward to continuing to support him and the program in any way we can” said McCoy.

Being that Morgan State is the only HBCU to offer NCAA Division I Varsity-level wrestling, it was imperative that the university found the best of the best for the upcoming 2023-2024 season.

“After conducting a nationwide search of the best talent in wrestling coaching, we are confident that in Coach Kenny Monday, we have selected the right person to restore Morgan’s wrestling program,” said Dena Freeman-Patton, vice president and director for intercollegiate athletics at Morgan. “Coach Monday brings the gravitas and experience to lead a Division I program and attract the top talent in the nation to come to Morgan. We look forward to having him start as soon as possible and build a championship-ready wrestling team.”

Monday is excited to get to work in his new role. “I’m extremely grateful and honored to be named as the head wrestling coach at Morgan State University. Bringing the wrestling program back to an HBCU after 25 years is exciting for me and the entire wrestling community,” said Coach Monday. “I want to thank President Wilson and Athletic Director Dena Freeman-Patton for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to build an incredible program. Every experience in my career has prepared me for this moment, and I can’t wait to get started. Go Bears!”

The University will host a press conference during the week of Aug. 22 to officially introduce Coach Monday, with more details TBA.