Colin Johnston will be the first head wrestling coach at the University of Pittsburgh-Bradford, the northwest Pennsylvania school announced yesterday. Johnson had previously been the assistant coach at Davidson College since 2015. He is the second former Davidson coach to come to DIII in Pennsylvania as current Penn State-Behrend coach Robert Patnesky left the North Carolina school to come North. Johnston wrestled at West Virginia University where he was an NCAA qualifier. The Pennsylvania native will begin recruiting a team that is set to begin competition next fall.
BRADFORD, Pa. – The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford has named Colin Johnston its wrestling program’s first head coach, according to an announcement by Bret Butler, director of intercollegiate athletics.
“I am extremely excited that Colin Johnston has accepted our offer to become the first ever Pitt-Bradford head wrestling coach,” Butler said. “He had a very good collegiate wrestling career at West Virginia University and has excellent coaching experience at Davidson. Being from Western Pennsylvania, he will be able to hit the ground running with recruiting, as he has strong ties to not only the Western Pennsylvania wrestling community but also the entire state of Pennsylvania. I am absolutely thrilled that we are starting college wrestling at Pitt-Bradford, and Coach Johnston is the perfect coach to get the job done.”
On Aug. 22, 2017, Pitt-Bradford announced the addition of wrestling as an NCAA Division III varsity sport for the 2018-19 academic year.
“I am grateful and very honored to be the first head wrestling coach at Pitt-Bradford,” Johnston said. “Pennsylvania has a long-standing tradition of excellence in the sport of wrestling, and I want to achieve that level at Pitt-Bradford. I want to thank Bret Butler and the selection committee for giving me this outstanding opportunity. I am eager to bring an immediate impact to the wrestling program at Pitt-Bradford.”
Johnston comes to Pitt-Bradford from Davidson College, where he has served as assistant wrestling coach since 2015.
At Davidson, he scheduled team practices, planned meets and oversaw strength and conditioning commitments and NCAA weight certifications, while also reviewing and analyzing video of the athletes’ performance.
On the administrative side, he organized, planned and executed the team’s travel and reservations while developing all procedures to manage and meet the allotted budget. Johnston also handled much of Davidson’s recruiting.
From November 2015 until February 2016, Johnston served as Davidson’s interim head coach where he took on all head coaching responsibilities for the Division I program while still covering his assistant coach duties.
Johnston spent his collegiate career wrestling at West Virginia University where he served as a team captain in 2013 and 2014. He also earned a 2014 NCAA Division I qualification.
Johnston earned a bachelor’s degree in multidisciplinary studies in 2014 from West Virginia and is currently working on a master’s degree in sports management studies intercollegiate athletic administration at California University of Pennsylvania.
The Eighty Four, Pa., native also spent time coaching in his hometown at the Quest School of Wrestling Club as an instructor from 2007 until 2014. While in college, he spent four summers working at the West Virginia University Wrestling Camp as an instructor and counselor.
The Pitt-Bradford wrestling team will compete in an independent schedule made up of a combination of duals and tournaments. The Panthers will join the 104 other programs in NCAA Division III wrestling, of which 31 compete independently.
All Pitt-Bradford wrestlers will have the opportunity to qualify for the NCAA Division III National Wrestling Tournament, which has followed the Division I regional format since 2012.