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NCAA All-American wrestler Drew Headlee returns to Pitt as an assistant coach

Headlee heads home: Former Pitt mat great Drew Headlee returns to alma mater as assistant coach
Headlee heads home: Former Pitt mat great Drew Headlee returns to alma mater as assistant coach
Both photo and logo courtesy of the University of Pittsburgh, used with permission

Drew Headlee, an NCAA All-American wrestler for the University of Pittsburgh, is returning to the Panthers to become an assistant coach, the school announced Wednesday.

Headlee, who had been a volunteer assistant coach for the past two seasons at Lehigh University, will join the Pitt wrestling staff headed up by Jason Peters, along with head assistant coach Matt Kocher, and volunteer assistant Terry Jackson. Headlee replaces fellow former Pitt wrestler Matt Wilps, who has left after one year as an assistant wrestling coach to work for Hendricks Motorsports as a member of their NASCAR pit crew.

A native of Waynesburg, Pa., Headlee was a four-year letter winner and three-year captain for the Pitt Panthers under former head coach Rande Stottlemyer. A three-time NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships qualifier, Headlee earned All-American honors at the 2005 NCAAs by placing eighth in the 133-pound bracket. In addition, he won back-to-back Eastern Wrestling League (EWL) titles in 2007 and 2008.

Head coach Peters said of his newest staff member, “I think it’s exciting to get Drew back. We talked about him coming back for a number of years and this seemed like the right opportunity to get him here.”

Peters also cited Headlee’s family ties, with his father Ron Headlee’s respected coaching background. “Anytime you’ve been raised by a coach and you’ve been around coaching and athletics your whole life, you have a head start on trying to be a coach yourself,” said Peters. “Drew’s fortunate that he’s known since a young age that he wanted to be a coach. We’re excited to have him on board and start helping us out.”

“The experience here (at Pitt) was great. They’re putting a lot of things here together with some of the new fields and everything that Pitt has done,” said Headlee. “We had a new wrestling room built just while I was in school. They’re passionate about their sports programs and that’s the same thing that I feel – just passionate about this school.”