Keith Gavin returns to his alma mater and named head coach at Pitt

By Pitt Athletics | April 14, 2017, 10:16 a.m. (ET)
PITTSBURGH -- Keith Gavin has been named the 11th head coach of the University of Pittsburgh wrestling team as announced by Director of Athletics Heather Lyke Friday morning.

Gavin steps into his first head coaching role and returns to his alma mater after spending a year with the Oklahoma Sooners as an assistant as well as three years with the Virginia Cavaliers also as an assistant.

"We are thrilled to announce Keith Gavin as the new head coach of the University of Pittsburgh wrestling program," said Lyke. "He has an exceptional wrestling pedigree and is one of the top dynamic coaches in the wrestling profession. His passion and commitment to Pitt wrestling will enable our program to build on its rich tradition on and off the mat. We look forward to Coach Gavin leading our program to the ACC Championships as well as continued success on the national stage.

Gavin, a 2008 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, brings valuable coaching experiences as well as a notable competition background to the Panthers.

"I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to come back to the University of Pittsburgh as the head wrestling coach," said Gavin. "I would like to thank Heather Lyke, Marcus Bowman and everyone on the search committee for believing in my ability to lead this program. I am eager to get to work. Hail to Pitt!"

While with the Sooners, Gavin assisted in qualifying eight wrestlers for the 2017 NCAA Championships in St. Louis, while the team earned a second-place finish at the Big 12 Championships.

Prior to making the move to OU, he spent three seasons with the Cavaliers, guiding them to the 2015 ACC Championship title. That same year, seven wrestlers qualified for the NCAA Championships and saw three make it to the Round of 12 as well as one garnering All-America status.

After graduating from Pitt, Gavin remained on the staff for a season to work with the middle to upper weights. He then started training for his freestyle career and began by training at the Lehigh Valley Athletic Club in Bethlehem, Pa., until 2012 when he made the move to the Ohio Regional Training Center in Columbus, Ohio. His early trainings led him to numerous top finishes at the international level including a runner-up finish at the 2010 and 2014 U.S. World Team Trials, and, in 2011, placed third at the World Team Trials and placed second at the Pan-American Games.

Gavin was a member of the U.S. national team for over six years, placing third at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials before capturing the U.S. National Championship in 2013 and 2014.

As a Panther, Gavin was the 2008 174-pound national champion and a two-time All-American. His 120 career wins rank eighth in program history. Gavin is a two-time EWL champion, two-time EWL Wrestler of the Year and is a member of the EWL Hall of Fame.

Gavin takes over a historic Pitt wrestling program that has produced 76 All-Americans and 16 national champions. The Panthers concluded the 2016-17 season 11-5 overall while falling in the top 25 of the USA Today/NWCA Coaches poll the entire season. Pitt went 2-3 against ACC opponents this season, but posted a third-place finish at the ACC Championship, which was highlighted by three individual champions, the most since the 2014-15 season.