Bloomsburg mourns passing of former wrestling standout and coach Mike Dessino '14

By Bloomsburg University Athletics | June 01, 2020, 5:08 p.m. (ET)
Photo of Mike Dessino courtesy of BUHuskies,com

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. - With a heavy heart, the Bloomsburg University Department of Athletics was saddened to learn of the passing of former Huskies' wrestling standout and current volunteer assistant coach, Mike Dessino '14. Dessino passed away from injuries sustained during a serious car accident over the weekend. He was 29.

"We are devastated by the loss of Mike Dessino," Director of Athletics Dr. Michael McFarland said. "Mike embodied all the great elements of BU Husky Wrestling and has been a true leader for the program. This is a tremendous and tragic loss for his family, his wife Katrina, the BU wrestling family, and everyone who knew this young man of unbelievable character."

Dessino wrestled for the Huskies from 2009-14 and served as a volunteer assistant coach during the 2016-17 and 2019-20 season. He was a three-time NCAA Division I national qualifier, a three-time Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) champion, and won the 2011 Eastern Wrestling League (EWL) title at 174 pounds. During his time in the maroon and gold, Dessino posted a 105-43 overall record and ranks second in program history in career pins with 45.

His 105 victories are 15th on the school's all-time list, while his three PSAC championships made him one of only ten grapplers in the program's history to accomplish the feat.

The Middlesex, New Jersey, native burst onto the scene as a freshman for the Huskies during the 2009-10 season when he won 20 matches, including seven by fall. He followed that up with a 25-win season in 2010-11, which included the EWL title at 174 pounds. Dessino went on to win 30 matches in each of his final two seasons, with nearly half – 26 of his 60 total victories – coming by fall. He advanced to the NCAA Division I national championships in each of his final three seasons with the Huskies.

Following his collegiate career, Dessino went on to have a brief stint as a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter. He went 4-0 as an amateur, picking up three of his wins over a six-month span in 2015 and his last victory in September of 2017. Two of his wins came by submission in less than a minute.

Before attending Bloomsburg, Dessino was a three-time district champion and a three-time state qualifier at Middlesex High School. He was a two-time state placewinner and finished his high school career with a record of 145-22 with 98 victories by fall.

"It was an honor to be able to coach Mike for a year as a student-athlete and an even bigger privilege to coach beside him as he helped mold young men for the future," said Bloomsburg University head wrestling coach, Marcus Gordon. "Mike's passion for family and friends was one of a kind. As a man, friend, teammate, and coach, he was always ready to lend a helping hand. On and off the wrestling mat, his presence was one of great strength, and his loss will leave an unfillable void. Our hearts go out to his family, his wife Katrina, and their unborn son. Mike's wrestling family will miss him greatly."

He and his wife, the former Katrina Conrad '13/'15(M), were married in August of 2019. The couple were expecting their first child later this year.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family during this difficult time. If you are able to help, please follow the link below:
https://bit.ly/2TWmiWp

#TeamDessino