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Pitt grad Tyler Nauman new BVA wrestling coach

| Tuesday, July 16, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A former PIAA champion is taking over the Belle Vernon Area wrestling program.

The BVA school board Monday unanimously hired Tyler Nauman, 24, as high school varsity wrestling coach at a salary of $9,029.

He replaces longtime BVA mentor Jack Jolley, who had served as the school's coach for 16 years before resigning in April citing pressure from members of the school board.

Nauman, who just moved from central Pennsylvania to Baldwin, spent last season as an assistant coach for Drexel University. He captured a PIAA championship as a senior for Middletown High School in 2007 at 130 pounds.

He went on to wrestle for the University of Pittsburgh, making the NCAA Championships three straight years and ranked eighth in the final national rankings his senior season.

In fact, Panther teammates and BVA graduates Donnie and P.J. Tasser informed Nauman about the Leopards open position. Nauman has coaching in his bloodlines — his father, Michael, was head coach at Middletown — located just east of Harrisburg.

“I haven't got to do a lot of research yet but gave background and said they have some pretty good young kids,” Nauman said, citing the successes last season of Adam Nickelson and Nate Russo. “I've been around coaching a long time and actually ran my father's club team and took teams' to all-star tournaments, so I have some experience at the high school level. With the help of him and a couple other people, we'll be all right.”

Last season, the Leopards reached the WPIAL Class AA team quarterfinals, the deepest playoff run in program history.

Nauman said he's excited for his first head coaching gig and a chance to settle back into Western Pennsylvania. He's currently enrolled in graduate classes and considers BVA an up-and-coming program.

“Being young, I thought that might be a factor, but I thought with my high school and college wrestling background, I had a good chance,” he said of the hiring. “I'll meet with wrestlers and parents soon and try and get the guys in the room to see what kind of numbers and kids we have to work with.”

Rick Bruni Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at rbruni@tribweb.com or 724-684-2635.

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