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|Tom Shifflet named head wrestling coach at Hofstra|
By Jim Sheehan Hofstra
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. - Tom Shifflet, the head wrestling coach at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a former assistant coach at Cornell University, has been named the head wrestling coach at Hofstra University, Pride Director of Athletics Jack Hayes announced today.
Shifflet, who becomes the 10th head wrestling coach in the program's storied 58-year history, replaces Tom Ryan, who resigned on April 22 after 11 seasons at Hofstra to become the head coach at the Ohio State University.
"An All-American collegiate wrestler, a top-notch recruiter and an outstanding coach, Tom Shifflet has all the qualities that we were
looking for to continue the winning tradition of Hofstra Wrestling,"
Hayes said. "He has been a winner at every level, knows what it takes to get to the top, and shares our vision and passion to make the Pride program the best that it can be."
Shifflet comes to Hofstra after four seasons as head wrestling coach at UNC Greensboro, where he was directly responsible for all aspects of the Spartans' programs including instruction, recruiting, scheduling, academic counseling and community relations. His tenure at UNCG was marked by annual improvements in recruiting, recognition and success. He also created and organized the annual 35-team Southern Scuffle wrestling tournament, which is one of the largest and more competitive Division I regular season tournaments in the country.
"I am excited about continuing the tradition that Hofstra University has in wrestling," Shifflet said. "It is a great opportunity for me
to move the program along, like Tom Ryan did, without missing a beat. I look forward to setting lofty goals and working with a great group of student-athletes to achieve them. I want to move the Hofstra Wrestling program into the top 10 and top five in the nation. We certainly have that opportunity at Hofstra, which was big reason why I took this position. I eagerly await the chance to work with the alumni and thefriends of Hofstra wrestling to keep our program moving forward."
A three-time All-American and a four-time national qualifier as a
student-athlete at national powerhouse Edinboro University from 1992 through 1995, Shifflet began his coaching career as an assistant at Georgia State University in 1995, helping the Panthers post back-to-back winning seasons, and develop three conference champions and four NCAA qualifiers.
In 1997, Shifflet left Georgia State to begin a five-year tenure as an assistant coach at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. During his time with the Big Red, Shifflet coached 24 NCAA qualifiers, three NCAA All-Americans and helped head coach Rob Koll to a pair of Ivy League championships in 1999 and 2001. More importantly, Cornell was also consistently ranked among the nation's top-15 programs. The final Big Red recruiting class that he was involved with placed fifth at the 2006 NCAA Championships in Oklahoma City.
After five seasons at Cornell, the Amherst, N.Y., native was named the head wrestling coach at UNC Greensboro on May 17, 2002. After a typical transitional season in his first year at UNCG, Shifflet managed to sign one of the top recruiting classes in the nation in 2003. That class, which included one high school All-American, four honorable mention high school All-Americans and seven state champions, received an honorable mention based on InterMat's 2003 final rankings.
In 2003-04 the Spartans claimed their first winning season since 1998-99, posting a 9-6 overall record with the nine victories ranking as the third most in the program's 12-year history. In addition, two of his recruits, Kevin Artis (141 lbs.) and Daren Burns (197 lbs.), captured conference championships in their respective weight classes with Burns being named the Southern Conference Freshman of the Year.
Shifflet guided UNCG to the most wins in school history during the
2004-05 season as the Spartans recorded a 12-5 overall record, 4-1 in the Southern Conference. He produced the Southern Conference Freshman of the Year for the second consecutive year as Joe Kemmerer earned the award following a 31-7 season. Kemmerer, along with teammates Daren Burns and Joe Lowe, each won their respective weight classes at the Southern Conference Mat Jam and qualified for the NCAA Tournament.
In 2005-06 UNCG tied a school-record by sending four wrestlers to the NCAA Division I Championships in Oklahoma City and the Spartans finished tied for 31st with Harvard in the final Championship standings. The Spartans finished the season with an 11-6 dual match record and a 4-1 mark in the Southern Conference and had two wrestlers miss out on all-American honors by one victory.
Shifflet graduated from Edinboro University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science degree in health and physical education. As a wrestler, he registered 118 wins for the Edinboro Fighting Scots and was coached by the legendary Bruce Baumgartner. Competing at 142 pounds, Shifflet finished seventh at nationals as a freshman, sixth as a sophomore and third as a senior. He is one of four three-time All-Americans in school history. Shifflet also received the Eastern Wrestling League Freshman of the Year Award in 1992 and the EWL Wrestler of the Year Award in 1995. He was inducted into both the Edinboro University and the EWL Halls of Fame in 2006.
In 1996 Shifflet placed seventh in the final U.S. Olympic Trials in freestyle wrestling at 149.5 pounds. One year later he placed sixth in both the World Team Freestyle Trials and the U.S. Open.
Shifflet is married to the former Alice Faron of East Setauket, N.Y.