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Eastern Michigan’s Derek DelPorto resigns as head wrestling coach

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Derek DelPorto is leaving his head wrestling coaching position at Eastern Michigan University – and the sport – to relocate to Nashville, the Ypsilanti-based school announced Tuesday.

The announcement did not reveal any details on DelPorto’s post-wrestling plans.

"I appreciate Derek's strong leadership qualities and the positive impact he has had on our wrestling program," said Heather Lyke, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. "He has worked hard to move the program forward. We wish Derek all the best in his new endeavors with his wife and moving with her to Nashville."

"I would like to thank everyone who has been a part of my amazing coaching journey over the past 15 seasons and especially the support given to me by all the coaches and administrators here at Eastern Michigan," DelPorto said. "Walking away from the sport is a very difficult decision but certainly the right one for my family and me."

"I need to recognize and give special thanks to my Assistant Coach of seven years, David Bolyard, for helping bring the Eastern Michigan wrestling program back to relevancy," DelPorto continued. "I also need to thank all of my athletes over the past eight seasons here at EMU who believed in my system and worked just as hard to get us to where we are today. This program is in great shape and will only continue to thrive in the future. Heather is very knowledgeable about the sport and I'm positive she will continue to do what is best for this program to continue its success."

Since taking the helm at EMU in 2006, DelPorto compiled 85 victories, becoming the winningest wrestling coach in school history. He coached a pair of Mid-American Conference Champions and had student-athletes qualify for the NCAA Championships on 17 different occasions.

This past season, DelPorto led the Eagles to a 13-7 overall record, 3-4 record in the Mid-American Conference. After placing seventh in the team standings at the 2014 MAC Championships (out of nine programs), EMU sent four grapplers to the 2014 NCAA National Championships, tying for the most during DelPorto's eight-year tenure as head coach.

Prior to coming to Eastern Michigan, DelPorto served on the coaching staffs at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania, University of Oklahoma, and Cornell University.

A native of Erie, Pa., DelPorto wrestled at Erie Cathedral Prep, then continued his mat career at Slippery Rock, where he compiled a 116-38 record, making him the third-winningest wrestler in program history. He was a three-time regional champ (1996, 1998-99), and 1998 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) heavyweight titlewinner. He earned All-American honors by placing eighth in the heavyweight bracket at the 1999 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, winning his first two bouts before falling to University of Minnesota’s Brock Lesnar in the quarterfinals, 4-0.

DelPorto was welcomed into the Slippery Rock Hall of Fame in 2011.

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