Marshalltown Community College names new athletic director

Contributed photo - Marshalltown Community College named John Kriebs the new athletics director. He is originally from Dubuque.

Marshalltown Community College named John Kriebs, who has more than 30 years of Division 1 college athletic experience, as its new athletic director.

Kriebs’ love of sports started with 4th grade involvement in athletics at the local YMCA. From that moment, he had an attachment and love for all athletics. He happened to excel at both football and wrestling and was considered by several colleges; he chose to attend the University of Northern Iowa and planned to participate in both sports. UNI was just becoming a D1 school, and at the time Kriebs attended wrestling was a full year program. He realized that to excel at wrestling and academics he could only concentrate on the one sport.

“I had some great mentors in my coaches, Chuck Patten and Don Briggs,” Kriebs said. “Briggs to this day is one of my best friends and was the best man in my wedding.”

During his wrestling career at UNI, Kriebs won more than 100 matches, was a two time All-American and was ranked No. 1 his senior year. He also qualified for the NCAA tournaments all four years and was picked to wrestle in the All-Star Wrestling Showcase.

In his senior year at UNI, Kriebs accepted an assistant wrestling coach position and was there for five years. He then accepted a job at Southwest Missouri State (Missouri State) as the youngest D1 coach in the country at 27. During his time there, the college dropped its wrestling program, but Kriebs stayed on as the assistant athletic director.

After a short break from athletics for his wife to focus on her career, they had their first child and Kriebs wanted to get back to his athletic career. He accepted a job at Fresno State, where he worked in several different capacities for 19 years. He was Director of Facilities & Operations, Assistant Director of Athletics Facilities & Operations, and most recently Associate Director of Athletics Internal Operations.

“It was a great opportunity and I was very happy at Fresno,” he said. During his 19 years there, Kriebs worked for seven different athletic directors. “I had a good experience out there and learned a lot.”

His position at Fresno was going to be eliminated, so he chose to take retirement at that time.

While at Fresno State he was the sports supervisor for the Bulldog football, men’s basketball and baseball teams, working with coaches Pat Hill and Jerry Tarkanian. He was instrumental in leading the resurrection of the Bulldogs wrestling program when he hired former Hawkeye Hall of Fame wrestler Troy Steiner to be the head coach. Kriebs helped guide the Bulldogs to the Big 12 Conference for the sport.

“This will be my first time as an athletic director,” he said. “The potential for growth at MCC is incredible. The fact that the college carries the name of the town is a great benefit. Moving to the Midwest will also allow me to be near family.”

Kriebs says his hope is for MCC athletics to become a focal point for most of the transfer colleges in the area and surrounding states.

“I’d like to help four-year colleges around us to understand us and have a relationship that when they send their students here, they know we will transfer them back as a better student and athlete from their time at MCC,” he said.

His hope is also to show that if athletics is doing well, the college is doing well, which means the town will also benefit economically.

“If we have tournaments at the college other schools will attend and then hotels are full, restaurants are full,” he said. “Now people are seeing what a great town Marshalltown is. We need people to buy in. The potential is unbelievable.”

Kriebs grew up in Dubuque, where he was the youngest of a family of six. Most of his family still lives in the Midwest, and the idea of being near family was a big draw for him to come to Marshalltown. He also has a daughter, Jordan, who is currently a student at the University of Iowa. His son, Jack, will be a senior at Ankeny High School, where he will be playing football for one of Kriebs’ best friends.

MCC Provost Dr. Robin Lilienthal is looking forward to working with Kriebs and seeing what he brings to MCC athletics.

“John brings extensive experience in athletic administration that will greatly benefit our Tiger student-athletes and coaching staff,” she said. “I’m thrilled we could bring this Iowa native back home.”

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