Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Winningest Wrestling Coach at Pitt Feb. 24, 1955 - Jan. 28, 2018

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Winningest Wrestling Coach at Pitt Feb. 24, 1955 - Jan. 28, 2018

Article excerpt

For decades, Rande Stottlemyer was the face of a wrestling program in a region where the sport is a pronounced part of the area's rich and passionate sporting culture.

Mr. Stottlemyer, Pitt's wrestling coach for 34 seasons, died Sunday from complications of early onset Alzheimer's, the university confirmed. Mr. Stottlemyer, of Charleroi, was 62.

In his nearly four decades with the program, Mr. Stottlemyer occupied almost every role one could.

That run began as a wrestler himself, a time in which he was a three-time All-American. Following his graduation in 1978, the Hermitage, Pa., native was an assistant coach for one season before assuming the reins as head coach.

His illustrious career as head coach included a 304-231-12 record, making him the winningest coach in program history. The team's overall success extended to the individuals who composed it. Pitt had 56 Eastern Wrestling League champions, 33 All-Americans and three national champions in Mr. Stottlemyer's tenure, a time in which he also earned the EWL's coach of the year award five times.

His accomplishments live on not only in various honors - including the EWL Hall of Fame and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame's Lifetime Service to Wrestling award - but also in those he coached. That lineage can even be found in the post he used to inhabit: The Panthers' first-year head coach, Keith Gavin, wrestled for Mr. Stottlemyer from 2004-08, a career capped off by a 33-0 record and an NCAA championship in the 174-pound weight class in his senior season.

"Coach Stottlemyer gave me an opportunity of a lifetime by bringing me to Pitt," Mr. Gavin said in a statement. "He never gave up on me when a lot of other coaches probably would have, and for that I am forever grateful. His impact goes beyond teaching wrestling. I find myself still using his sayings not only with our student-athletes, but with my own kids as well. …

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