Magnolia Head Wrestling Coach Dr. Vincent Monseau picked up career dual match wins No. 400 and No. 401 on Jan. 9 at MHS. Not only is this a tremendous accomplishment, but also an ironic one, as his Magnolia wrestlers won his No. 400 against the team where it all began for Coach Monseau – Weir High.
“I have had the pleasure of being Coach Dr. Vince Monseau’s right-hand man for the past three seasons of my 17-year coaching career, and what a GREAT inspiration and motivator he has been to a program that was nearly non-existant,” OVAC Assistant Coach of the Year Eric McKeever said. “Now in just three short years, Magnolia has become a top of the class OVAC team as well as one of the top teams in the state of West Virgina,” McKeever added.
When one thinks of wrestling around the Ohio Valley, one cannot help but think of Monseau, who enjoyed much success in the high school level before making his mark at West Liberty State College.
Dr. Vincent Monseau leads his team out at the OVAC tournament.
As an athlete, Monseau participated in football wrestling and track at both Weir High and West Liberty State College. Monseau graduated from Weir in 1958.
Notably, he played on the school’s 1957 state championship football team.
Monseau later participated in many distance races, including the Boston Marathon and Wheeling Distance Race.
Monseau attained his B.A. degree from West Liberty State College as well as both a M.A. and Doctorate of Education from West Virginia University.
Monseau began his coaching career at Germantown High School in Ohio in junior high basketball before returning to his native state of West Virginia, where he coached wrestling at Oak Glen, Charleston and Weir High School. His Oak Glen High School team captured the West Virginia state championship title in 1967. He also initiated the WV Coaches Association in these early years.
After one year at Peru State in Nebraska, he spent 31 years (1973-2004) as head coach at West Liberty, compiling a 359-221-7 record. He has coached 72 All-Americans, 34 Academic All-Americans and six national champions. He guided the Hilltoppers to a national runner-up finish in 1995. Monseau’s sons, Dr. Vinnie and Dr. A.J. Monseau, were among those All Americans he coached, along with his daughter who was the teams statistician for four years at WL.
He also coached football and cross country during his days at WLSC. He directed the NAIA National Wrestling Tournament in both 1979 and ’87 and was an administrative assistant for the NCAA Division II National Wrestling Tournament in 2003. Monseau also directed youth wrestling camps at West Liberty for nearly 30 years, welcoming some of the greatest names in wrestling as featured clinicians.
His awards are numerous, including the OVAC “Mr. Mat” award in 1983. Monseau was inducted into the the conference’s Hall of Fame in 2009. Other awards include the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1987; USA Wrestling Bronze Level Member Coach in 1987; West Liberty State College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997; NCAA Division II Southwest Regional Coach of the Year in 1996 and 1997; National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2002; NCAA Division II Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2003; and National Wrestling Coaches Association Lifetime Member in 2004. Dr. Monseau has also been inducted to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Okla.
After his retirement from WL, Monseau coached at River High School for a couple of years. During the same time, he served eight years as the school’s principal.
In 2013 Monseau was hired at Magnolia to help build a quickly fading program. His hiring caused a stir amongst the wrestling population at Magnolia, where 35 kids signed up for the team.
“The situation that brought me back,” Monseau said, “was that the school was in need of a coach. My wife and I live in New Martinsville; I knew a couple of the kids, and there were some really nice kids coming out. I wanted to see the program continue and not stumble.”
The program has done more than just continue … it has thrived. MHS was the OVAC Class 3A runner-up last season, and was fourth overall. Monseau then led his grapplers to the OVAC Class 3A Dual Championship against the team that won the OVAC Class 3-A title last season, Linsly.
The past two seasons Monseau has sent at least two wrestlers to the state tournament in Huntington, and had one wrestler – Caleb Nice – as a No. 1 seed in this year’s OVAC Tournament. Nice eventually won the school’s first OVAC wrestling championship in the 220 lb. Weight division.
With some 47 years of coaching wrestling, Dr. Monseau anticipates retirement, trusting the Blue Eagles’ wrestling program to Assistant Coaches Daniel Doyle and Eric McKeever.
Coach Monseau’s son-in-law, Danny Anderson, stated, “those of you that know my father-in-law won’t be surprised that he will be happy to simply see growth and increased maturity of character in this team, just as he did for the previous 46 years he has coached wrestling.”
The Monseau family includes three children: Dr. Vinnie Monseau (Amanda) and granddaughters Annaliese and Alessandra; Dr. Anissa Monseau Anderson (Danny) and three granddaughters, Alavia, Kayna and Jessa (Kayna and Via are current statisticians at Magnolia); and Aaron J. Monseau, grandchildren Blanea and Matthew Carrie Mason. (Dr. AJ. Was recently named the 2016 Olympic Wrestling Team Doctor).
Monseau eldest son, Dr. Vinnie stated, “Dad will also be quick to thank my mom, his wife for 48 years, for her enduring tolerance and encouragement. With his 400th win in the record books, I know that the number means nothing in comparison to the mentor this man is to so many of us. Truly, his mission has been to inspire others to their own successes, and stand back as we (not he) take the podium for our moments. God has used this coach and his wife to let us know that wrestling, like other extra-curriculars, is a means to make and grow relationships. The results, whether wins OR losses, only make the bonds tighter.”