Pitt-Johnstown’s Pat Pecora named Division II wrestling coach of the year
Twenty years after his most recent national coach of the year award, Pitt-Johnstown’s Pat Pecora earned the honor again.
The longtime Mountain Cats coach was named the 2018-19 NCAA Division II National Wrestling Coaches Association’s coach of the year Thursday night at the Division II Hall of Fame banquet in Cleveland, Ohio.
Pecora, in his 43rd season at Pitt-Johnstown, also received the award in 1995 and 1999. He is the winningest coach in Division II history with 597 career victories, which also ranks second across all divisions.
This season Pecora led Pitt-Johnstown to a 16-3 duals record, the NCAA Super Region 1 title — the 22nd for the Mountain Cats during his tenure — and a share of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference dual title, UPJ’s fourth straight. He was named the Region 1 coach of the year, making him eligible for Thursday’s national award.
Pecora has coached Pitt-Johnstown to two NCAA titles in addition to leading 14 individual national champions. Three of his former wrestlers — national champions Shad Benton, Lee Schickel and Shane Valko — were inducted into the Division II National Wrestling Hall of Fame Thursday night in Cleveland.
Seven Pitt-Johnstown wrestlers will compete at the NCAA Division II championships Friday and Saturday in Cleveland, including defending national champion Chris Eddins, a Greensburg Salem graduate.
Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Doug at 412-388-5830, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .