Robert Patnesky, the current head coach at Davidson College, has been named the head coach at Penn State Behrend. The Lions will return from a 38 year absence to once again field a team in the fall of 2017. Patnesky spent the past 14 seasons at Davidson and has been head coach since 2004. He has also coached at Ohio University and his alma mater West Virginia University.
ERIE, Pa. – Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, has selected Robert Patnesky to become the second head wrestling coach in program history.
Patnesky spent the last 12 season as the head coach at Division I Davidson College in Mooresville, North Carolina. He left the program ranked second in career victories, mentored five national championship qualifiers and four Southern Conference Champions for the Wildcats.
“We are excited to have Coach Patnesky as the lead of our wrestling program,” said Director of Athletics Brian Streeter. “His previous experiences will benefit the department as we begin to grow a team once again. Patnesky is a proven coach who understands the academic standards in which to recruit.”
Davidson was consistently one of the top wrestling programs in the country for academics under Patnesky’s tutelage. The Wildcats were ranked in the NWCA’s Division I All-Academic Top 30 for five consecutive years (2006-10), earning the fifth-best team grade-point average in 2009 and 2010, and also ranking 12th in 2012.
Patnesky spent two seasons as an assistant coach before being named interim head coach in 2004-05. He led the Wildcats to an 8-7 overall record, their first winning campaign in over 10 years. Prior to Davidson, he served as an assistant coach at Ohio University while earning his master’s degree in recreation and sports sciences.
Patnesky was a three-year starter for the wrestling team at West Virginia, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Communication in 2001. The three-time NCAA qualifier is the all-time winningest wrestler in his weight class at West Virginia. Patnesky was the 2000 Eastern Wrestling League champion, helping his team win the EWL crown and a sixth-place finish in the country. He was a three-time Jr. National All-American, a national finalist, individually ranked among the top 12 wrestlers in the country for three years and finished his college career with more than 100 victories. He also competed for the U.S. on a tour of France and Poland in 1999 and earned NWCA Academic All-American accolades.
Patnesky takes over a wrestling program that has been absent for 38 years. Penn State Behrend offered NCAA wrestling from 1967 until 1978, using Erie Hall for practices and home matches. Wrestlers will again use that space beginning in the fall of 2017.
Patnesky and his wife, Pam Moss, will reside in Erie.