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Olympian and Hall of Fame member Kerry McCoy takes top position with Lehigh Valley Wrestling Club

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Media outlets in Pennsylvania have reported that two-time Olympian and former Penn State NCAA champion Kerry McCoy will be taking over as Executive Director and head coach with the Lehigh Valley Wrestling Club.

Most recently, McCoy served in a similiar role with the California Regional Training Center which is affiliated with Stanford University.

USA Wrestling reached McCoy, who is excited about the new position and is looking forward to heading back East and working once again with the storied programs affiliated with Lehigh wrestling.

"I am so thankful for the opportunity in California. We had a heck of a year, and achieved a lot with the Stanford wrestling program and the California RTC. Ultimately, this decision was based on what all my decisions are based upon, which is my family. Having our family back East was a big motivator for us. I am excited to work with this program, which has strong leadership and a great tradition. This is a true opportunity and I look forward to what we can achieve here. I am really happy about this."

He returns to Lehigh community, where he previously coached as a volunteer assistant coach under another Hall of Fame member, the late Greg Strobel. While affiliated with Lehigh, he was the first resident athlete with the LVWC, which was then called the Lehigh Valley Athletic Club.

McCoy, a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, currently serves as the Secretary of USA Wrestling. He is currently chairperson of USA Wrestling's Freestyle Sport Committee, the Ethics and Membership Committee, and the Governance Committee. He also chairs the organization's ad-hoc Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.

He is a native of Longwood, N.Y. McCoy won two NCAA titles for Penn State and was a three-time All-American for the Nittany Lions. He competed on the 2000 and 2004 U.S. Olympic Teams, and won a silver medal at the 2003 World Championships, along with a long list of other international and national achievements.

His head coaching positions at the college level included stints at Stanford and Maryland.

In international freestyle, McCoy served as an official Olympic Coach for the 2008 Olympic Team in Beijing, China, and also coached the 2006 and 2007 Senior World Team. He has a wealth of experience coaching U.S. Senior and age-group levels.


The Board of Directors of the Lehigh Valley Wrestling Club (founded in 2000 as the Lehigh Valley Athletic Club) is excited to announce the appointment of Kerry R. McCoy to a newly established position of Executive Director and Head Coach, effective October 1, 2021. The announcement was made jointly by new Chairman and local businessmen, Travis Doto (who replaces W. Garry Paul) and Michael J. Caruso.

Kerry will oversee all Club operations and activities, freestyle and folkstyle wrestling clinics for males and females within 50 miles of Bethlehem, plus recruitment and training of world class resident-athletes.

McCoy will succeed renowned coach Jeff Buxton, which means the Club will benefit from one Hall of Famer to another, a rarity among national post-graduate clubs.

Kerry was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, OK in 2014 and also recognized as a Penn State Distinguished Alumnus (Class of ’97) in 2018. As a Lion he became one of America’s best-ever college heavyweights, with a 3-year record of 131-1 at the weight (88 straight wins) and post-season places of NCAA 1,3,1; Big Ten 1,1,1. In ’97 he earned the coveted Dan Hodge Trophy, awarded each year to the nation's best collegian. Kerry’s final college bout was a win vs. 1999 World Freestyle champion, Stephen Neal.

McCoy himself was a Junior World champion in ’92 at 194 lbs, earned a World Silver medal in 2003 at 264 in NYC plus two fourths at 286 in 1998 and 2001. As a 2-time Olympian he placed 5th at the 2000 Olympics and 7th in 2004. Kerry won five straight U.S. National Opens from 2000-2004, was a 9-time member of U.S. National Teams and was the Outstanding Wrestler winning a Pan-American Games gold in 2003.

Kerry began coaching as Penn State Nittany Lion WC asst (1997-99), helping ten All-Americans, two NCAA champs. From 2000-05, he was the 1st-ever LVAC hire as resident/athlete for his Olympic mentor, Lehigh coach Greg Strobel, helping 14 more A/As and two NCAA champions. He served as Club head coach responsible for all youth clinics.

From 2005-08, McCoy was Stanford head coach, setting records for best Pac-12 team place (2nd), NCAA qualifiers (5), 1st-ever SU 3-time A/A and most A/As in a 3-yr period (5). twice matched school highs in A/As (2). His last team was 13-4-1 after going 6-8-1 in 2005.

In 2008 Kerry moved to Maryland and served 11 seasons. He was a 3-time ACC Coach of the Year , won three league team titles, oversaw four NCAA Top 20 teams and earned their 2nd-best ever NCAA finish (10th) since 1964. Eight of his Terps earned 12 NCAA medals. The Terps have struggled since joining the Big Ten in 2014-15. In Kerry’s last five years Maryland produced eight Big Ten placers, 12 national qualifiers and 20 Academic All-Big Ten selections and two Big Ten postgrad scholars.

As a longstanding contributor to our sport with a b.s. degree in marketing, McCoy served on the USA Wrestling Athlete Advisory Committee, USAW Executive Committee, U.S. Olympic Committee and twice coached U.S. Freestyle World Teams. His many supporters have long appreciated his extensive career commitment to communications via email and other social media. Kerry currently lives in Palo Alto, CA with his wife, Abbie, and their children, Gabriel and Amelia.

The Club looks forward to a smooth leadership transition after a superb nine-year tenure of head coach, Jeff Buxton (U of Rhode Island ’79). A perennial aide to USA Wrestling, Jeff was named volunteer coach of the 2019 U.S. Freestyle World Team, alongside USA Wrestling National Coach Bill Zadick. Buxton has coached numerous athletes who’ve made the Freestyle National Team or earned Senior-level All-American honors, including 2015 U.S. World Team member Zach Rey, 2019-20 national team member Darian Cruz and 2021 Olympic Team alternate, Joey McKenna.

Buxton received USA Wrestling's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006 and in 2018 was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame (NJ Chapter), receiving the Lifetime Service Award.

Morning Call: Kerry McCoy taking over Lehigh Valley Wrestling Club