Pat Popolizio named assistant coach at Army
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Army head wrestling coach Chuck Barbee announced today that Pat Popolizio, a 2001 graduate of Oklahoma State University, will be joining his staff as an assistant coach. Popolizio graduated from Oklahoma State in December of 2001 with a degree in physical education. He spent last season as an assistant to head coach Andy Seras at Sacred Heart University. Under his tutelage, the Pioneers placed second in the Colonial Athletic Association and sent four wrestlers to the NCAA Division I Championships in Kansas City, Mo. While at Sacred Heart, Popolizio was responsible for structuring team and individual practices along with recruiting student-athletes to the program. He also helped organize fund-raisers to supplement the team's budget. Since April 2000, Popolizio has been a co-owner and co-operator of Journeyman Athletics, a premier-level wrestling club in Schenectady, N.Y. While running the club, he has been responsible for fostering relationships with area coaches and potential recruits to maximize club membership. Popolizio has also brought many of the world's greatest wrestlers to the club as featured clinicians. Popolizio has been a regular at John Smith's Oklahoma State Wrestling Camp since 1997, providing leadership for the over 700 high-school aged campers, along with setting up and organizing the camps. During his own wrestling career, Popolizio garnered numerous awards and honors, among them a pair of Big 12 runner-up finishes in 1998 and 2002. He qualified for the NCAA Division I Championships in 1997, 98 and 2002. Popolizio, a five-time recipient of the Oklahoma State Student Athlete Award, was named Academic All-Big 12 five times. During his high school career, Popolizio was a New York State Champion and the National High School runner-up in 1996. In the spring of 2001, the winner of the Oklahoma State Wrestling Hustle Award in 2000, taught at Skyline Elementary School where he organized student activities and developed lesson plans while participating in class instruction. Popolizio is still wrestling competitively and is currently ranked ninth in the 185-pound U.S. Senior Freestyle Rankings according to themat.com. "Pat is a tremendous addition to our staff who will help with our upper-weight classes," said Barbee. "He will push our wrestlers to their fullest abilities and help technically. He has a great wrestling background, having competed at Oklahoma State during his collegiate days. The fact that he is still competing is a great asset for the team. Pat will both instruct and work out with the team and do an excellent job for us.