Matt Pell, a two-time NCAA All-American for the University of Missouri, is now an assistant wrestling coach at Lock Haven University, the Pennsylvania-based school announced Friday, Aug. 23.
Pell rounds out newly promoted head coach Scott Moore’s coaching staff, joining Steve Fittery who was hired earlier this month as an assistant. Pell replaces Brad Pataky, who left Lock Haven in early August to become an assistant at Army.
A native of Luxemburg, Wis., Pell brings impressive credentials as a wrestler and coach to the LHU Eagles.
As a Missouri wrestler, Pell was a standout on the mats for the Tigers. A four-year starter on Mizzou wrestling squad, Pell first earned All-American honors as a sophomore at the 2005 NCAAs while competing at 184 pounds. Then, two years later, a third-place finish at 165 at the 2007 NCAAs made him just the third Missouri wrestler in program history to earn All-American accolades in more than one weight class. In 2007, Pell also earned the Gorarrian Award for scoring the most pins the least amount of time at the NCAAs.
Upon graduating from Missouri in 2007, Pell headed east to become an assistant coach at the University of Virginia. In his two years on staff, he helped coach five Cavaliers to Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) titles and helped Chris Henrich become UVA's first All-American in five years.
After two years in Virginia, Pell returned to his college alma mater, serving as an assistant coach for three seasons. During his time on the Mizzou mat staff, the Tigers had an NCAA champ (Max Askren) and three All-Americans.
It’s something of a reunion for Pell and head coach Moore, who were on the coaching staff together at Virginia.
"Having the opportunity to work with Matt (Pell) again this season will be a privilege for not only me personally, but for the team and program as a whole," said Moore. "He is one of the best technicians and educators in the sport of wrestling. His coaching experience at Virginia and Missouri will help him become a huge asset for our program, especially in our upper-weights. Matt was a very successful competitor and knows how to win at this level."
Pell is also eager to start his new job at Lock Haven.
"I'm excited about the upcoming season and my role as an assistant coach," said Pell. "We have a young team with a lot of potential. My goal for this team is to raise the bar of expectation and get to the point where we not only want to win, but we expect to win. Lock Haven wrestling has a bright future and I'm ready to being preparing out wrestlers for the journey."
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