Mark Perry is headed back to the Big Ten.
The former Iowa wrestling star who won two NCAA titles with the Hawkeyes and had a one-year stint as an assistant at Penn State has accepted a job as the associate head coach at Illinois.
Perry, 26, spent the past two years at Cal Poly, where he was the co-head coach this past season as was set to take over next season after John Azevedo’s retirement. Instead, Perry will join former Hawkeye Jim Heffernan with the Illini.
“We are thrilled to have Mark Perry join our staff,” Heffernan said. “Through the support and resources provided by our administration, we were able to hire the best young coach in college wrestling. In assessing the needs of our program moving forward, I knew the best option was to bring in someone with a new approach, fresh ideas and a lot of fire.
“Mark’s strengths as a coach address all the areas where we need the most improvement. His competitive nature and will to win are very evident and will be contagious. He will be a difference-maker for our program, and we are all anxious for him to get started.”