Ryan LeBlanc, App State Wrestling’s co-head assistant coach, has been hired as the head coach at The Citadel.
In another case of an App State assistant earning a college head coaching opportunity after working under head coach JohnMark Bentley in Boone, LeBlanc takes over a Division I program that also competes in the Southern Conference.
“I’m extremely happy for Ryan — he is extremely deserving of this opportunity,” Bentley said. “I believe he is well-prepared, and The Citadel is getting a good man. I consider Ryan a close friend and am thankful for all his contributions to App State Wrestling.”
Earlier this offseason, co-head assistant coach Josh Roosa became the head coach at King’s College close his hometown in northeast Pennsylvania. With Bentley, Roosa and LeBlanc working together for the last four seasons, the Mountaineers won three straight SoCon titles before producing a school-record six NCAA qualifiers from a 9-3 team in 2019-20.
“It’s a testament to the type of championship culture we have at App State,” Bentley said. “I think it says something when you have two assistants who are both offered head coaching jobs at the same time. I am extremely happy for Ryan, and now I’m focused on the opportunities ahead to continue our growth.”
In LeBlanc’s four seasons as an App State assistant, the program totaled 18 NCAA Championships qualifiers and had a combined record of 40-17 in dual meets. That included a 25-2 record in SoCon duals.
After a standout career at Indiana and his first post-college coaching stint at SUNY-Cortland, LeBlanc arrived in Boone in 2016. The 2016-17 team finished 13-3 and climbed to as high as No. 16 in the national rankings from Intermat.
This past season, a young App State team with new starters at six positions led Division I wrestling with four dual meet shutouts, was one of only three Division I teams with at least four conference champions and was one of only six Division I teams that had all 10 starters finish the season with a winning record.
Off the mat, App State posted a school-record GPA of 3.45 in the spring of 2020, pushing the cumulative GPA to a program-best 3.11, and its number of community service hours recorded by the Helper Helper platform in 2019-20 ranked No. 4 among all Division I wrestling programs. A year earlier, the Mountaineers led all Division I wrestling programs in community service hours.
“I would like to thank JohnMark Bentley, Doug Gillin and the rest of the Appalachian State University athletics department for helping to shape me into the coach I am today,” LeBlanc said. “I will be forever grateful to have had the opportunity to coach alongside Coach Bentley and work with the amazing student-athletes who have been part of the wrestling program these past four years. I would also like to thank his family for helping my wife and I become part of this community and always opening their door to us.”
During his collegiate career at Indiana, LeBlanc amassed a career record of 103-51. He was a three-time NCAA qualifier (with a finish in the round of 12 as a senior), a three-time academic All-American, a two-year captain and a Big Ten Academic All-Conference team member for four straight seasons.
LeBlanc was also selected as the Big Ten Medal of Honor recipient, one of the most prestigious conference awards in college athletics. First awarded in 1915, the Medal of Honor is given to one student-athlete from the graduating class of each university who attains “the greatest proficiency in athletics and scholastic work.”
A native of Morrisville, N.Y., he graduated in 2014 from Indiana with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science before receiving his master’s in sports management in 2016 at SUNY-Cortland and relocating to Boone with his wife, Morgan.