USA Wrestling Assistant National C...

Assistant National Coach Erin Vandiver named girls coach for exciting new prep school team at Wyoming Seminary

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | April 13, 2017, 5:26 p.m. (ET)

VIDEO: Erin Vandiver talks about new position at Wyoming Seminary

Erin Vandiver, who has served many years as USA Wrestling’s Assistant National Women’s Coach, has been named the new girls wrestling coach at national high school powerhouse Wyoming Seminary College Preparatory School in Kingston, Pa.

Vandiver, a native of Pennsylvania, returns to her home state to lead a brand new accelerated elite girls developmental program, which seeks to attract many of the nation’s top high school girl wrestlers to pursue national and international goals while attending a highly respected academic institution.

“The opportunity has come at an opportune time. It is something that our national staff has talked about for a long time, a missing piece of the puzzle for our puzzle, for the development of our Cadets and Juniors, our elite development program. We needed to get wrapped around them tighter, and provide a better training environment year round and in freestyle for those who are on that path and ready to make the commitment to develop. Wyoming Seminary, which has a successful and prestigious boys team, approached us and wanted to work in cooperation with USA Wrestling. This is within our vision on how we can put the women in the USA on the map and stronger. The campus, culture and community there made a lot of sense,” said Vandiver.

Wyoming Seminary’s existing program, led by head coach Scott Green, is committed to supporting Vandiver and the new program at the highest level.

“I believe we have a good model in place for success, as we have had with the boys program. We have a national brand established here. We are in a unique position to really impact girls wrestling at the high school level. With Erin coming back to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and to the Northeast, it will be really exciting for girls to train here. She will have a big impact on our school, as well as on girls wrestling in the Northeast in general,” said Scott Green.

USA Wrestling is very supportive of the new program and Vandiver’s leadership as more opportunities are opened up for girls and women in wrestling.

“The partnership with Wyoming Seminary gives us a location to base an elite acceleration program for our best high school athletes. If we look to our major competition worldwide, they have had an opportunity to work with other top young athletes much more than we have had. We can be around our best Cadets 365 days a year now. It is an important part of the U.S. international program moving forward. Erin has shown that she is very loyal to USA Wrestling’s women’s program. Not only an outstanding wrestler, she has also established that she is a talented wrestling coach. We are confident that she can provide high school girls everything they need to be successful in our sport,” said National Women’s Coach Terry Steiner.

The initial conversations between Wyoming Seminary and USA Wrestling concerning this project was initiated by USA Wrestling’s Women’s Team Leader Jim Bennett, whose wife is a SEM graduate.

Wyoming Seminary is one of the top high school boys wrestling programs in the nation. The team has finished either first or second at the Prep School National Championships in wrestling for the last seven years. Nationally ranked in the Top 10 among high school programs the last 11 years, Wyoming Seminary has won 11 straight Pennsylvania Prep state titles. Numerous wrestlers have gone on to compete on the Div. I level in college, and a number have qualified for Cadet and Junior World Teams in the international styles for USA Wrestling.

“The primary focus will be on age-group freestyle success. We have always considered ourselves at SEM as leaders in the wrestling community. We are hopeful that other teams will follow the lead, and that we can have a Pennsylvania prep wrestling league and a Pennsylvania girls high school wrestling league in the near future. We aim to raise the exposure for the sport and that other people will see it exploding on the national scene and will want to follow our lead and add as well. Erin is the perfect person to spearhead that,” said Green.

Vandiver has a proven record of success as an athlete on the high school and international levels, as well as extensive experience coaching age-group wrestlers. One of her key responsibilities for USA Wrestling has been working with the nation’s top Cadet and Junior level women wrestlers, including coaching U.S. age group World Teams.

In her role as a coach for the resident-athletes at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, Vandiver has also helped numerous U.S. Senior women wrestlers win World and Olympic medals for the United States. She has been a member of the women’s coaching staff at the last two Olympic Games.

Competing under her maiden name Erin Tomeo, she was a member of the 2001 and 2006 U.S. World Teams. She won the 2008 U.S. Open and was a four-time U.S. Open runner-up. She also won medals in international events in Belarus, Sweden, Canada and Ukraine. She boasts gold medals from the Dave Schultz Memorial International and the New York AC International, top events hosted in the USA. She was a U.S. Olympic Training Center resident athlete.

Erin wrestled at Lock Haven University as a member of the varsity men’s team for the 2001-2002 season. Other top women wrestlers were on that team, including eventual Olympic silver medalist Sara McMann, World medalist Jenny Wong and World team member Jenna Pavlik.

Competing for Grove City High School, she was the first girl in Pennsylvania wrestling history to place at Districts and win a match at the Regional high school boys wrestling tournament. She was also active with USA Wrestling in its age-group women’s programs, and won Cadet World bronze medals in 1998 and 1999.

Vandiver earned B.S. degree in history at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. She has a strong wrestling background, as her older brother Tom Tomeo was an NCAA All-American for Clarion and a respected coach, and her cousin Seth Creasy was an NCAA qualifier for Lock Haven. In addition, her husband Chad Vandiver was a Div. I wrestler at Northern Illinois and a member of the Greco-Roman National Team with USA Wrestling.

Wyoming Seminary has a strong tradition of developing athletes for the Olympic movement. Two Wyoming Seminary athletes went on to compete on the 2016 U.S. Olympic Field Hockey team at the Rio de Janeiro Games, Kat Sharkey and Kelsey Kolojejchick.

“As an institution, the Olympic spirit and Olympic sports are important to us. Bringing Erin in, who has coached at the last two Olympics, will add to the successes here down the line,” said Green.

“We have a WIN-WIN situation. Erin will remain an integral part of the success of our women’s program. We thank her for everything she has done and everything she will do moving forward,” said Steiner.