Tom Ryan's coaching tree is growing another branch, as one of Ohio State's graduating seniors is starting his coaching career immediately after graduation.
University of Pittsburgh head wrestling coach Keith Gavin announced Wednesday that two-time All-American Luke Pletcher will join the Panthers staff as the volunteer assistant coach.
We're excited to announce the addition of two-time All-American @LukePletcher to our staff as the volunteer assistant!— Pitt Wrestling (@Pitt_WRES) April 8, 2020
Welcome to #pinzburgh, Luke!
: https://t.co/XKjUxzMCjH#H2P pic.twitter.com/eQbGPoBrpN
"We couldn't be more excited about Luke joining our staff," Gavin said. "He is obviously a very skilled and accomplished wrestler, but on top of that, I have always respected him for his approach to the sport, the way he competes and his character. Luke is from Western Pennsylvania and is a great overall fit for us. He will have an immediate impact here."
Pletcher will join the Pitt staff following his graduation from Ohio State this spring. He was a captain for the Buckeyes this season, finishing his career with a record of 108-21 and capping the season with a Big Ten championship at 141 pounds.
A native of Latrobe, Pa., Pletcher spent four seasons as a Buckeye, reaching All-American status in 2018 and 2019. He was a four-time NCAA qualifier. Ranked No. 1 in the country after winning the conference crown last month, he was the top seed for the canceled NCAA Wrestling Championships.
Pletcher was listed on the roster for the Ohio Regional Training Center, and might have been expected to stay in Columbus to chase his freestyle and Olympic dreams. The opportunity to train in his home state and join the coaching ranks of a respected Division I program was too much to turn down.
"I'm really excited to join the team and start working with the guys," Pletcher said. "Getting a chance to come back home to chase my Olympic dreams and help the guys on the team attain their goals was something that I couldn't pass up."
Congrats to @LukePletcher on the job at Pitt. 1 of the easiest guys Ive ever had the luxury of coaching. Hell be a great one for @keithgavin84— J Jaggers (@jjaggers2x) April 8, 2020
Also though @LukePletcher .... pic.twitter.com/N6WcDyV8Ig
He told reporters last week that he is eager to get back on the mats as soon as public health officials give the all-clear.
“Whether we got to compete (at NCAA Championships) or not, win or lose, I was going to have to figure out what was next,” Pletcher said. “And that next thing is to win a world title and an Olympic title, and continue giving back to wrestling.
“I just want to wrestle some more. I’m missing it a lot.”