In late May, Eiter, who had been at Penn for nine years – including six at the helm of the Quaker mat program – announced his departure from the Ivy League program, saying, “At the conclusion of the season, I had a chance to step back from the daily grind a bit and evaluate myself, and I realized that the energy needed to serve as head coach at a program like Penn wasn't there."
Eiter brings a wealth of experience to College Park, Md., as a past collegiate and Olympic wrestler, as well as two decades as a college coach, including Big Ten experience as an assistant at Northwestern University which will help Maryland wrestling as it competes in that conference for the first time this fall.
It’s a point that coach McCoy reinforced in his statement about the newest member of his coaching staff.
“Rob is a great addition,” said McCoy. “He’s got a ton of experience in the sport. Being a former head coach, being an Olympian, a national team member means international connections, recruiting, just everything he brings to the table. He’s one of those guys that has all the bases covered and we’re really fortunate that he’s going to be coming aboard and helping move our program into the Big Ten.”
In nearly a decade at Penn as head coach and an assistant, Eiter worked with 34 NCAA qualifiers -- including 2007 national champion Matt Valenti -- 42 EIWA (Eastern Intercollegiate Wresting Association) place winners and seven EIWA champions. While at the helm of the Quakers, Eiter Eiter mentored four NCAA All-Americans, two EIWA champions, and seven All-Ivy selections.
Under Eiter, Penn wrestlers succeeded off the mat as well. Eiter had three wrestlers named National Wrestling Coaching Association (NWCA) All-Academic. As a team, Penn was honored by the NWCA as an All-Academic squad.
Prior to coming to Penn, Eiter was on staff at Northwestern, first as a volunteer assistant from 1997-2002, then as an assistant from 2002-06. While with the Wildcats, he served as the lead recruiter.
From 1993-97, Eiter was an assistant coach at Clarion University in Pennsylvania. He served as recruiting and scheduling coordinator in addition to his role as conductor of the Golden Eagles Summer Wrestling Camp.
Eiter graduated from Arizona State University in 1991, having wrestled for legendary head coach Bobby Douglas. However, Eiter cemented his on-the-mat reputation in international freestyle competition. Eiter represented the United States in nine international competitions including the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, and the 1993 and 1995 World Championships. Eiter was a five-time U.S. Open national champion and won two silver medals at the World Cup.
Eiter translated that experience into success as an international coach. Eiter guided the 1999 United States women’s team to a first-place finish at the world championships, marking the first and only time a U.S. women’s team has won a world team title. In addition, Eiter’s 2007 and 2008 U.S. Junior Women’s World Championship team picked up seven medals, including two gold medals.
“There are only a few teams in the country that have multiple Olympians on their staff, we are now one of them,” said McCoy, referring to Eiter, as well as assistant coach Nate Carr, Jr. (bronze medalist at the 1988 Seoul Olympics), and his own record as a two-time Olympic team member in 2000 and 2004. “What he brings with his international coaching experience and his international experience as an athlete really just pulls everything together and keeps us on that top tier as far as a coaching staff.”