Just when it appeared that the merry-go-round of college wrestling coaching changes was winding down, Hofstra head coach Rob Anspach announced his resignation Saturday, with assistant coach Zach Tanelli promoted to interim head coach, according to the Hempstead, N.Y. school.
Anspach has resigned to accept a commercial sales representative position with Advantage Sport & Fitness, the press statement reported. Anspach had spent nearly two decades at Hofstra, including five seasons as a wrestler, then as a member of the coaching staff for the past dozen years, the last three as head coach.
Tanelli, a three-time NCAA qualifier and 2009 NCAA All-American for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has served five years on the Pride coaching staff, the past two seasons as the head assistant coach.
During Anspach’s time on staff at Hofstra, the Pride built a 136-86-6 dual-meet record, winning ten conference championships. Anspach assisted in the development of 41 league champions. Under Anspach’s tenure, 76 wrestlers qualified to compete at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships; 15 of those earned NCAA All-American honors.
A 2001 graduate of Hofstra, Anspach compiled a 69-51 record during his five-year career as a Pride wrestler. The Pine Grove, Pa. native was a two-time NCAA qualifier in 2000 and 2001.
“I would like to extend my sincerest gratitude to Hofstra University, President Stuart Rabinowitz and Vice President and Director of Athletics Jeff Hathaway for the opportunity to be part of the Hofstra Athletic Department and lead the wrestling program,” said Anspach. “It was a very difficult decision to leave Hofstra, where I have spent the last 18 years as a student-athlete and coach, but this is the best situation for my family. I know Jeff will do a thorough search to find the right candidate for the job and I look forward to supporting the wrestling program for many years to come.”
Hathaway responded by saying, “I want to express my thanks to Rob for his passion and commitment to the Hofstra Wrestling program as a student-athlete, assistant coach and head coach. We wish Rob and his family the very best as he moves to his new position in the fitness equipment business. I know he will enjoy the same success there as he has as a wrestling coach."
Hathaway also announced that a national search for the next head coach of the Hofstra Wrestling program will begin immediately.