• 5 NCAA Champions
  • 49 All-Americans

Joe McFarland

Our coaching philosophy is built around the type of student-athlete that we seek to recruit. We want wrestlers of high character who strive and commit to be the best they can be, both on the wrestling mat and in the classroom. From great sacrifice comes great reward ... that's where championships are won.


Coach Bio

Joe McFarland began his tenure as head coach of Michigan wrestling in 1999-2000. Since then, he has helped mold Michigan into a highly-touted national contender, guiding the U-M wrestling squad to three Big Ten dual-meet championships (2004, '05, '06) and eight consecutive top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships (2001-08) -- including an NCAA runner-up performance in 2005. He ranks third on Michigan's head coaching career wins list.

McFarland has led 27 different student-athletes to five NCAA individual titles, 49 All-America citations and 17 Big Ten individual crowns. Among his most decorated pupils are two-time NCAA champion and four-time Big Ten champion Kellen Russell (2008-09, '11-12), two-time NCAA champion and four-time All-American Ryan Bertin (2002-05) and NCAA champion and three-time All-American Steve Luke (2006-09).

As a Wolverine wrestler (1981-82, 1984-85), McFarland was a four-time All-American and a two-time NCAA finalist at 126 pounds. His 166-24-4 career record ranks third in Michigan program history, while his 48 wins as a senior still stands as a program single-season record.

After completing his Michigan eligibility, McFarland embarked on a successful international wrestling career. He was a silver medalist at the 1986 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. McFarland captured the 1987 Tblisi Tournament bronze medal before winning the 1988 World Cup Championship.

Fun Fact

Coach McFarland, who returned to his alma mater’s staff in 1992 after three years as head coach at Indiana, coached all three of his current assistants during their respective collegiate careers at Michigan.

Career Highlights

  • 5 - NCAA Champions
  • 49 - All-Americans
  • 17 - Big Ten Champions
  • 3 - Big Ten Dual-Meet Titles
  • 8 - NCAA Top-10 Finishes

Assistant Coaches

Sean Bormet

Associate Head Coach

Sean Bormet is in his sixth overall season as a member of the Michigan wrestling coaching staff and his second as associate head coach. He is in his second stint on the Wolverine staff, returning to his alma mater in the summer of 2011. Bormet has mentored nine Wolverine All-Americans since his return to collegiate coaching and has contributed to four top-10 recruiting classes, including the consensus No. 1 class in 2012.


Bormet is a three-time winner of the Terry McCann Award as the USA Wrestling Freestyle Coach of the Year (2006, ’08, ’10) and serves on USA Wrestling’s Executive Coaches Council. He was a member of the coaching staff for three U.S. World Championship Teams (2006, ’09, ’10) as well as the 2008 Olympic Team and 2010 World Cup Team. Bormet was also named the 2004 USA Wrestling Developmental Coach of the Year for his coaching achievements with age-group wrestlers and programs.


As the owner and founder of the Overtime School of Wrestling in Naperville, Illinois, Bormet molded the training center into the nation’s premiere wrestling club, producing numerous champions and All-Americans at all age levels since its opening in 2001.
As a Wolverine student-athlete (1991-94), Bormet was a two-time NCAA All-American at 158 pounds, placing second as a senior (1994) and third as a junior (1993). He claimed the prestigious Gorriaran Award at the 1993 event, registering three falls in a combined 8:58. He was a two-time Big Ten champion and won the prestigious Midlands Championships. He posted a 125-21 career record, including a 33-2 mark as a senior, and accumulated 44 career falls.

Josh Churella

Assistant Coach

Josh Churella is in his second season as an assistant coach for the University of Michigan wrestling program after being promoted to the full-time staff in May 2014. An active participant in the Wolverine practice room as a middleweight workout partner, he worked directly with All-Americans Steve Dutton, Eric Grajales and Brian Murphy.
As a Wolverine wrestler (2005-08), Churella was a three-time NCAA All-American, reaching the 149-pound final at the 2007 NCAA Championships. He captured a Big Ten title at 141 pounds as freshman. His 124-21 record ranks 16th among U-M’s all-time wins leaders.