The other night while watching the NCAA Wrestling Championships, I asked a question: “how many of these coaches are from Pennsylvania?” It seemed like just about every college had someone from Pennsylvania. I then thought that it might be confirmation bias. You know, I recognize a bunch of names, so I assume PA must have the most.
When something like this happens, I tend to go into research mode. I looked up every Division I college wrestling program and their coaching staff. I only used head coaches and assistant coaches. I did not count volunteer coaches. Figured that would be too much work. Here is what I found:
There are 233 coaches.
-41 from Pennsylvania
-21 from Iowa
-19 from Ohio
-19 from New Jersey
-18 from New York
-10 from Florida
-17.60% of college coaches are from Pennsylvania. That is impressive.
-Blair Academy in New Jersey has the most coaches from a single high school. Although, it is a prep academy and they can recruit kids from all over, which they do.
-State College High School has three coaches, which looks like the most for a public school. That is pretty weird, especially when you consider that there are some major powerhouses, like Easton that only have one coach.
-It is crazy that there is only one coach from Texas, yet two from North Dakota. There are 25 million more people living in Texas than North Dakota.
-I thought California would have more. Same with Oklahoma. Those are two states that we always heard gave PA a run for being better high school wrestling states.
-Uzbekistan has two coaches. That is two more than Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, New Mexico, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, Rhode Island, and West Virginia combined.
It was cool looking at some of the names and seeing guys who were some of my favorite wrestlers out there coaching.
-Cary Kolat is the Associate Head Coach at UNC. I remember seeing him win his 4th state title. It was actually cool because if I remember correctly, he had not been taken down the entire year. And in one of his matches, maybe semi-finals, this kid shot in and took him down straight to his back. Kolat hooked the kids leg, elevated him right to his back and pinned him. The entire exchange took about twenty seconds. Or I could be totally wrong, does anyone else remember that match?
-Rob Koll is the head coach at Cornell. He wrestled for State College. Back in 1984, State College and Philipsburg-Osceola were two of the top schools in PA. Koll wrestled my cousin (I think he is my mom’s first cousin) Mark Sidorick. I was just four years old, so obviously I do not remember. My dad said our school was packed for the dual meet and that they had to seat people in the cafeteria and show it on TV. Koll moved up a weight class and beat Sidorick, but P-O beat State. Koll and Sidorick both won states that year.
-Jeremy Hunter is an assistant coach at Illinois. I loved watching him at states when he wrestled for McGuffey. He was a four-time champion and ended with a 171-2-1 record all-time.
-Teague Moore is the head coach at American University. Moore wrestled for North Allegheny High School. His brother, Ty, only lost one match in high school. I guess I was expecting to see him as a coach somewhere.
If you are interested in seeing more about this, I can email you the spreadsheet I made.