The time had come for him to take over his own program and when the opportunity to do that at Germantown Academy popped up, Josh Dziewa couldn't resist.
"The timing was perfect for me," said Dziewa, a 2010 Council Rock South graduate. "I was looking to start my head coaching career and it was a matter of trying to find the right place.
"There are so many things to like about Germantown Academy. The kids are great, academics are a huge part of everything, and there is a strong athletic program and a strong wrestling program. It's also super close to my family. I grew up in Bucks County and Germantown Academy is not far at all."
Dziewa spent the past four seasons as an assistant wrestling coach at Drexel University. Prior to that, he spent two years at the University of Pennsylvania as the director of wrestling operations after graduating from the University of Iowa.
"Josh stood out to our committee and student-athletes right from the starter," Germantown Academy athletic director Tim Ginter said. "His background as a wrestler and coach gives him the experience to help grow our program. He will be a terrific fit for the GA community and we are excited for him to get started."
Dziewa (pronounced jev-ah) replaces Solomon Fleckman, who led the Patriots for the past four seasons. Fleckman stepped down in April to take over the program at the Cannon School, a prep school in North Carolina.
Dziewa is well known in area wrestling circles after a high school career in which he won 125 matches (against just seven defeats) and a PIAA state title at 135 pounds for the Golden Hawks as a senior. Dziewa went 33-1 en route to the state crown.
At Iowa, Dziewa put together a career mark of 84-26 and was a two-time NCAA championship qualifier. As a senior, he was the Big Ten Conference runner-up at 141 and was ranked as high as No. 6 in the country. He was also a four-time Big Ten all-academic selection.
During each of his four seasons at Drexel, the Dragons finished as a National Wrestling Coaches Association Division I-A top-30 all-academic team and had the nation's best team GPA in each of the last two years. Dziewa also served as Penn's liaison to "Beat the Streets Philadelphia" where he tutored grade school and high school students in math and English, while also teaching them discipline through wrestling.
He'll take over a program that finished sixth at the National Prep championships and third at the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association tournament. Five Patriots earned medals at National Preps, which go to the top eight finishers in each weight class, and three rising seniors are returning in Christian Colman (fourth at National Preps), Harrison Levans (fourth) and Luke Duthie (seventh).
"We're excited to get after it and we have a good group coming back," Dziewa said. "GA has a great history of success in the sport and unlimited potential moving forward.
"Right now is obviously difficult with everything that is going on with COVID(-19). We're holding off on any type of training, but I've had the chance to meet with a lot of the kids (on Zoom) and we're stressing running, lifting and eating the right things and drinking the right things.
"That's about as much as we can do right now and we'll just have to wait and see until we can get everyone together. I know I can't wait to get started."