2016 Olympian Frank Molinaro to leave coaching post at Virginia Tech

By Various sources | Dec. 14, 2018, 1:24 p.m. (ET)
Frank Molinaro competing at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Photo by Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Warriors.

The Virginia Tech wrestling team, through its Twitter account, announced that assistant coach Frank Molinaro, a 2016 Olympian in men's freestyle, has stepped down from his coaching position with the Hokies.

Molinaro is currently ranked No. 3 at 70 kg on Freestyle Team USA.

The announcement from Virginia Tech is below:

Molinaro steps down from Tech wrestling to focus on international competition
Assistant wrestling coach joined Virginia Tech in 2017
by Peter Long, Virginia Tech

BLACKSBURG - Virginia Tech wrestling head coach Tony Robie announced Friday that assistant coach Frank Molinaro has stepped down from his position with the program to focus solely on preparing for the upcoming international freestyle season.

A 2012 NCAA champion and current U.S. National Team member, Molinaro placed fifth at 65 kg at the 2016 Rio Olympics as a member of the USA senior men's freestyle team.

"If you look at the wrestlers winning world and Olympic titles, none of them are in full-time coaching positions," Robie said. "Frank has the ability to be one of those guys and it makes sense for him to put himself in the best position to make that happen. This move will allow him the flexibility to travel for competition and training, permitting him to focus on what he needs to do to accomplish his wrestling goals."

2018-19 Team USA Ranking: No. 3 at 70 kg/154 lbs.
Years on Team USA: 4 (2014-15, 2016-19)
Residence: Blacksburg, Va.
Club: Titan Mercury WC
College: Penn State
High School: Southern Regional (N.J.)
Born: Dec. 27, 1988
Height: 5’5”

Career Highlights
- 2016 U.S. Olympic Team member
- Fifth in 2016 Olympic Games
- 2016 World Cup champion
- 2016 Pan American Championships champion
- 2017 U.S. World Team Trials runner-up
- 2018 Second in Freestyle World Team Trials Challenge Tournament
- 2015 Grand Prix of Spain champion
- 2012 NCAA champion for Penn State
- Four-time NCAA All-American (2009-12)
- Two-time Big Ten champion (2011-12)

Career Biography

2018: Second in World Team Trials Challenge Tournament… Sixth at U.S. Open… Third in Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix (Russia)…
2017: Second in U.S. World Team Trials… Second in U.S. Open… Guelph International champion…
2016: Fifth at the Olympic Games… Second in Grand Prix of Germany… World Cup champion… Third in 2nd World Olympic Games Qualifier (Istanbul, Turkey)… U.S. Olympic Team Trials champion… Pan American Championships champion… Sixth in U.S. Open…
2015: Fourth in Bill Farrell International… Grand Prix of Spain champion… Fifth in U.S. Open… Guelph Open champion…
2014: Third in Pan American Championships… Fifth in Phase II U.S. World Team Trials… Third in U.S. World Team Trials… Fourth in U.S. Open… Dave Schultz Memorial International champion…
2013: New York AC International champion…
College: 2012 NCAA champion for Penn State… Second in 2011 NCAA Championships… Fifth in 2010 NCAA Championships… Eighth in 2009 NCAA Championships… Two-time Big Ten champion (2011-12)…
High School: Three-time New Jersey State Champion at Barnegat's Southern Regional High School...placed second at High School Nationals.
Personal: Married Kera Bolen in May 2014… Has two sons, Kason and Frank… Son of Frank and Michelle… Most recently served as assistant coach at Virginia Tech… Previous assistant coaching stints were at Rutgers and Penn State.
Twitter: @Gorillahulk149
Instagram: @gorillahulk


Frank Molinaro has recently been hired as assistant coach for the Virginia Tech Wrestling Team.

Molinaro was most recently a volunteer assistant coach at his alma mater, Penn State, where he was a two-time Big Ten champion, a four-time All-American and an NCAA champion at 149 pounds in 2012. Last summer, placed fifth at 65 kg at 2016 Olympics in Rio as a member of the USA wrestling men’s freestyle team.

A native of Barnegat, New Jersey, Molinaro jumped right into coaching after wrapping up his collegiate career at Penn State. He was on the staff at Rutgers for two years as an assistant coach, where he helped develop the Scarlet Knights’ first All-American since 2002. Molinaro then returned to Happy Valley as a volunteer assistant in 2014 and helped lead the Nittany Lions to a national team championship in 2016.

Molinaro boasts one of the most decorated careers in the history of Penn State wrestling. He turned in finishes of eighth, fifth and second at the NCAA Championships before claiming the 2012 national title at 149 pounds as senior. That season, he went 33-0, won his second consecutive Big Ten title and wrapped up a career that ended with a 121-29 record.

On the international stage, Molinaro’s fifth-place finish at the 2016 Olympics tied for the best finish ever for a Nittany Lion wrestling for the United States. His road to Rio surprised many in the wrestling community as he won five of six matches as the No. 9 seed to take the 65 kg class at Olympic Team Trials. His resume also includes the 70 kg championship at 2016 Pan American games.

Most recently, Frank, placed 2nd in the 2017 U.S. Freestyle Nationals. This qualifies him for a spot in the 2017 World Team Trials, where he will have the chance to make the 2017 World Team and represent Team USA at the 2017 World Championships.