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Seton Hill hires wrestling coach

| Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012, 9:03 p.m.

Brian Tucker has a vision for the Seton Hill University wrestling program: He wants the Griffins to be mentioned with the best in NCAA Division II.

On Monday, Tucker was named to lead the program after Chris Elliott, who started it in 2007, resigned in August for personal reasons.

“It's definitely a good situation to walk into,” Tucker said. “With Seton Hill joining the PSAC for next season, that goes a long way toward credibility. It'll put us up against some pretty strong Division II programs — UPJ, Mercyhurst, Gannon. ... It's a huge move, and I'd like to take the program to the upper tier of the conference. I know we've got some guys who want to turn things around.”

Division II Seton Hill, a member of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, will begin competition in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference in 2012-13.

A number of PSAC schools wrestle at the Division I level in the Eastern Wrestling League, including Bloomsburg, where Tucker last served as an assistant coach.

His college wrestling journey began at the Division I level, first as a competitor at Ohio State, where he was a non-scholarship walk-on at a 184 pounds.

Two years later, Tucker transferred to Pitt but didn't wrestle, though he graduated with a degree in health and physical activity.

He then received a master's degree in exercise science from Bloomsburg. During his time as an assistant there, the Huskies qualified six wrestlers for the Division I national tournament and placed third in the EWL Championships in 2011.

“He has an impressive plan laid out. His energy and enthusiasm is contagious,” Seton Hill athletics director Chris Snyder said. “He's got the knowledge, being at the Division I level, to expand our program, expand what Coach Elliott started. We're delighted to have him.”

Seton Hill is coming off 10-14-4 dual-meet record in 2011-12, the school's best in its five-year history.

Dave Mackall is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at dmackall@tribweb.com.

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