Tony Patrizi, a 2004 graduate of the school, has been named head coach at Heidelberg University. The two time national qualifier has been coaching and teaching at Sycamore Mohawk high school, and he will begin at Heidelberg immediately. Read on for more.
TIFFIN — The Heidelberg University wrestling program will have a new leader for the 2014-15 season. Tony Patrizi, a two-time national qualifier and an assistant coach for the Student Princes, will become the 15th head coach in program history. The hiring was announced on Monday by Athletic Director Matt Palm.
“I am very excited for the opportunity to return to the Heidelberg campus as the head wrestling coach,” said Patrizi, who earned his bachelor’s degree from Heidelberg in 2004 and his master’s degree in 2011. “Since I started here as a student in 2000, this has been my home. I am passionate about the continued success of this program.”
During his tenure as an undergraduate scholar-athlete, Patrizi was a three-time National Wrestling Coaches Association Academic All-American. He won two Ohio Athletic Conference titles and was the university’s first recipient of the John Summa Award, given to the OAC’s most outstanding wrestler.
Patrizi, who also played on Heidelberg’s varsity soccer team, won Heidelberg’s prestigious Paul H. Hoernemann award and was the university’s OAC Clyde Lamb male recipient, given to the top male and female scholar-athlete at each of the conference’s 10 members.
After graduating from Heidelberg, Patrizi began teaching and coaching wrestling in the nearby Mohawk School District. Despite having a small squad size, he coached seven state placers and 14 state qualifiers in his four-year stint as head of the Warriors’ wrestling team.
“We are very excited about Tony and what he brings to the wrestling program as a person, a former student-athlete and as a coach,” said Palm. “We look for him to bring his great energy back to Heidelberg and to serve as a positive role model for the men in the program.”
As a graduate assistant under then-head wrestling coach Jason Miller, Patrizi assisted with all aspects of the program, including academic support and recruiting.
“I am very lucky to join a hard-working group of coaches and talented young men who want to be successful,” said Patrizi, who lives in Sycamore with his wife, Erin, and their two children. “We will continue working towards success at the national level not only on the mat but in the classroom as well. I have very high expectations for myself and this program.”
Patrizi, whose appointment begins immediately, takes over the program after the August resignation of Ned Shuck.
As the 2014-15 season begins, the No. 25-ranked Student Princes will train in a new wrestling facility — complete with a two practice mats and locker rooms — located on the ground floor of the new $4.8 million Hoernemann Stadium and The Fox Den Alumni Center. The practice space, which replaces the beloved Tin Gym, will be among the best Division III wrestling facilities in the region.
“We have called the Tin Gym home for many years but it is time to move forward and celebrate the opportunity Heidelberg has given to this program,” said Patrizi, who will retain the current staff — assistant Joe Hada and graduate assistants Justin Wharton and Matt Cross. “Heidelberg will have one of the premier training facilities in Division III wrestling. I can’t wait to break it in.”
Coming off of back-to-back OAC regular season crowns, the Student Princes begin intercollegiate competition in early November at the Washington & Jefferson Invitational.