New head wrestling coach looks for continuous improvement in team


Aaron Konitzer

Nolan Swenson, Co-Sports Editor

Aaron Konitzer, the new head coach of the UW Oshkosh wrestling team, isn’t looking for perfection as the Titan wrestlers face their first opponent of the season this week. But he is looking for continuous improvement throughout the season. 

The season kicks off Thursday against UW-Whitewater, but since he began in August, Konitzer  has already begun to make changes. 

“We had great success last year, so we’ll be building off  that because we have a lot of returners. For recruits, it’ll be about getting the right guys in here.”

Konitzer, a 2013 UWO alumnus, received a master’s degree in sports administration from Minnesota’s St. Cloud State University  in 2016. While there, Konitzer served as a graduate assistant for two years. He next served as a coach at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown in Pennsylvania  and at UW-Platteville, both for one year.

While serving as a coach in those schools, he decided to take a different route as a middle school teacher and wrestling coach. This was because  he felt dissatisfied with effects on college teams, believing them to be minimal. 

“I didn’t feel like I was leading the programs,” he said. “So I went back into teaching and coaching at the middle school level.”

But despite the success of the middle school team, as he led them through their inaugural season and state matches, he still missed college wrestling.

“I knew that I was missing something when I wasn’t coaching at the very competitive college level wrestling,” he said. “Making sure they are ready for the next step in life after wrestling is important for me.”

He began to investigate positions available, and found that the Titans were in need of a new coach. He took the initiative, applied and joined the team.

“I’ve been active with wrestling ever since I got out of my college team,” he said. “I’m really grateful to be back here after everything that the program did for me.”

UWO’s Athletic Director Darryl Sims welcomed Konitzer in August and acknowledged his expertise in wrestling.

“Aaron possesses a high level of understanding of the sport and an immense dedication to the student-athlete experience,” said Sims. “I am thrilled to welcome Aaron to our staff and to his alma mater.”

The season begins on Nov. 3 against UW-Whitewater’s Warhawks, a team that went 9-1 in the 2021-22 season. However, Konitzer cares more about the long game than initial results.

“I’m excited, but I know it might not be perfect right away,” he said. “I’m more worried about the end of the season than the beginning, so we’re going to keep working to implement our system and keep it going.”