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Gannon University hires Erin Vandiver as women's wrestling head coach

by Jeff Kirik, Assistant Director of Athletics for Media Relations, Gannon University

Erin Vandiver named Women's Wrestling Head Coach at Gannon University 

Photo: Erin Vandiver named Gannon University women's wrestling head coach (Gannon Athletics)

ERIE, Pa. – Gannon University has hired Erin Vandiver, a competitor and coach with extensive national and international experience, as the women's wrestling head coach of the Golden Knights, Director of Athletics Lisa Goddard McGuirk announced on Thursday.
Vandiver, whose maiden name was Erin Tomeo, wrestled at Grove City High School and Lock Haven University, and represented the U.S. in numerous international competitions before beginning her coaching career.
She served as an assistant coach with the U.S. Women's Freestyle National Team in Colorado Springs, Colo., from 2009 to 2017 before becoming the head coach at Wyoming Seminary College Preparatory School in Kingston, Pa., one of the premier girls wrestling schools in the nation.
"We are ecstatic to welcome Erin and her family to Gannon," Goddard McGuirk said. "As a coach, Erin has achieved so much and has had an immense impact on the sport of women's wrestling. Erin's coaching and leadership experience at the highest level, combined with her commitment to student-athlete development, was impressive. Our student-athletes will benefit not only from her wealth of wrestling knowledge but also from her strong leadership."
"I am thrilled to be joining the Golden Knight family," Vandiver said. "I feel blessed to be a part of the college scene, as women's wrestling continues to explode, especially at the collegiate level. Gannon University has a strong tradition in athletics, and I am excited for the opportunity to lead the program to national prominence, academic achievement, and impact the next generation of global leaders."
Vandiver, 41, has competed and coached at many high-profile competitions at each level of the sport.

 

She founded the Wyoming Seminary girls wrestling program in 2017 and has led the Knights to tremendous national and international success. Throughout her six seasons at Wyoming Seminary, Vandiver has coached the team to many tournament titles while helping her wrestlers to numerous national individual titles.
In 2022-23 alone, Vandiver guided Wyoming Seminary to National Prep Wrestling and Tallinn Open team championships while coaching six All-Americans, two National Team members, two national runners-up, and one national champion at Women's Nationals.
Vandiver was a coach for Team USA at the 2021 Junior World Championships in Ufa, Russia, where the team turned in a historic performance with a team title, four gold medals and one bronze medal. That effort included a gold medal for Kennedy Blades and a bronze medal for Korina Blades, two of Vandiver's Wyoming Seminary students at the time.

 

Prior to her time at Wyoming Seminary, Vandiver coached some of the nation's biggest names with the U.S. Women's Freestyle National Team while assisting longtime head coach Terry Steiner. She also served as the personal coach of six-time World champion Adeline Gray.
Vandiver also was a coach for Team USA at the Summer Olympics in 2012 and 2016, and led Team USA at several World Championships, Pan American Games, and international tours. She has coached dozens of World medalists from the Cadet to Senior levels. Vandiver also developed elite training programs and coordinated international competition schedules with Team USA.

 

As a wrestler, she was a pioneer.  Vandiver competed on the Grove City High School wrestling team against boys competition from 1998 to 2001. She became the first girl to compete and place in the District 10 championships. Vandiver also won Cadet World bronze medals in 1998 and 1999, and she was picked up by the elite wrestling team, Sunkist Kids, as a junior in high school. 
Vandiver comes from a wrestling family. Her older brother, Tom Tomeo, was a two-time state champion wrestler with a high school career record of 142-8. He now owns and runs Tomeo Wrestling in the Erie area.
Vandiver takes over a Gannon program that is coming off a 10th-place finish in the team race at the NCWWC National Championships. Gannon had four All-Americans, including three who were underclassmen.
"Growing up just south of Erie, I know how rich the area is with world-class talent," Vandiver said. "I am honored to take the reins of a top-10 team and build upon past success to strive for the next level of excellence. The athletic department has made me feel welcomed and at home. I look forward to working with such great people as we pursue individual and team goals."

 

Vandiver attended Lock Haven University in 2001-02 and trained with the men's team. She competed in USA Wrestling events with the Sunkist team while there and qualified for the U.S. Senior team that competed in the World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria.
She then became a resident athlete at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Vandiver later competed in the 2006 World Championships in Guangzhou, China, where she placed seventh.
While at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, Vandiver attended college and received her Bachelor of Science in History at the University of Colorado in May 2013.
She is married to Chad Vandiver, who was a U.S. Open finalist in Greco-Roman wrestling and a former resident athlete at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. He also was an assistant wrestling coach at Wyoming Seminary. The couple has two children, Nelson, 5 and Reina, 2.
"My vision is to take an established NCAA powerhouse and lead it into a nationally and world renown program," Erin Vandiver said. "Erie has much to offer. Gannon University provides unique, quality opportunities for aspiring student-athletes. I can see the pride that Gannon has for its athletic department, and how it continues to pour into the student-athlete experience. I feel that is something special that I can feel proud to represent. I look forward to serving the student-athletes and community at large. Go Knights!"

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