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Baranik named first wrestling coach at St. Andrews

LAURINBURG, NC-A coach with 24 years of experience, Joe Baranik becomes the inaugural head coach of the newly established wrestling program at St. Andrews Presbyterian College, announced Athletic Director Howard Reichner.

Baranik joins the SAPC athletic department after spending the past 2 1/2 years at Maury High School (Norfolk, Va.) where he worked in the Department of Health and Physical Education. Baranik has also served as the head wrestling coach at Maury. Baranik has qualified 13-of-14 Commodore wrestlers for Regionals, coached two District Team Championships, and coached 14 District Champions in that short period of time.

"We are pleased to announce the hiring of Coach Joseph Baranik with his outstanding credentials," said Reichner. "Coach Baranik comes to us with the highest level of qualifications and recommendations for building a wrestling program which will develop the mental and physical capabilities of his student-athletes."

"We are committed to providing significant opportunities and experiences for all student-athletes in each of our sports," said Dr. John Deegan Jr., president of St. Andrews, "and I am absolutely delighted that as we re-introduce wrestling at St. Andrews. We have recruited an outstanding coach who brings to us significant knowledge of the sport and an impressive record of achievements. We look forward to building a strong and highly competitive wrestling program here at St. Andrews."

Baranik will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the mat having worked as an assistant at four Division I colleges and coaching at the high school level for 16 years. St. Andrews competes at the NCAA Division II level.

"I am thrilled because since college I have wanted to be a head college coach," said Baranik. "I know what it takes and I have paid my dues. I plan to use that knowledge to build a successful program at St. Andrews."

Baranik started his coaching as an assistant at Slippery Rock University. Over the past 24 years, he has also coached at the University of Virginia, the U.S. Military Academy, and Old Dominion University.

"I had the privilege to learn from several great coaches. I worked for the legendary Gray Simons at Old Dominion for three years, who is a two-time Olympian and seven-time national champion, and I was able to pick his brain. Fred Powell at Slippery Rock has prepared me for the technical part of the game," said Baranik.

Baranik's experience at West Point and UVA, which he believes are both outstanding academic schools, has also helped him prepare him for coaching at SAPC.

Baranik's high school coaching experience has consisted of working at Mercer High School (Mercer, Pa.), Hollidaysburg Area High School (Hollidaysburg, Pa.), and Maury. Baranik has coached a Pennsylvania State Champion, two State finalists, and has had a fifth-place team in the PIAA State Tournament.

The resume of Joe Baranik also consists of numerous other coaching experiences and accomplishments including camps, clubs and clinics. Baranik has worked with the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA), the Pennsylvania Wrestling Coaches Association (PWCA), and the PA Wrestling Newsmagazine.

"The NWCA would like to congratulate St. Andrews Presbyterian College for hiring an outstanding mentor and coach to lead the newly established intercollegiate wrestling team. Joe Baranik will develop great wrestlers on the mat and quality citizens off the mat. St. Andrews Presbyterian College and their alumni can be assured that Coach Baranik will closely align his wrestling team with educational mission, vision, and values," said Mike Moyer, Executive Director of the NWCA.

St. Andrews Presbyterian College use to participate in wrestling during the NAIA years, but the 2006/2007 team will be the inaugural squad for the colleges NCAA Division II era.

"I am most excited about starting a new program. I will be able to set the tone and build the program the best way that I think fits St. Andrews," explained Baranik. "The college has been very accommodating with adding a sport and I am excited while genuinely concerned with starting the program to the best of my abilities."

"To coach Baranik, we say welcome, good luck and God speed," concluded Reichner.

Coach Baranik would like to challenge any new recruit that would like to come to St. Andrews and participate on the 2006/07 team. If you are interested in being a member of the inaugural team, please contact Admissions at 1-800-763-0198.

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