National Champion and 4X All-American Frank Molinaro to Join Rutgers Wrestling Staff

New Jersey native returning to home state as assistant coach with Scarlet Knights


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; April 17, 2012 – (Release courtesy Rutgers Athletic Communications w/ additional content Penn State Athletic Communications) -- Rutgers head wrestling coach Scott Goodale announced Tuesday the addition of Frank Molinaro to his staff as assistant coach. A native of Barnegat, N.J., Molinaro starred at Penn State from 2008-12 as he earned All-America honors four-straight seasons and finished his career as the 2012 NCAA 149-pound champion.


Molinaro completed his senior campaign as one of the top competitors in the nation, compiling a perfect 33-0 record to take top billing in his weight class. The former Nittany Lion won his second-straight Big Ten Conference individual championship, also earning the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler award in 2012. With an outstanding career record of 121-29, Molinaro left University Park, Pa., as PSU’s fifth four-time All-American.


In addition to being a four-time All-American and National Champion, Molinaro leaves Penn State 11th on the school’s all-time matches wrestled list (150), eighth on its all-time wins list (121) and seventh on its all-time dual meet victories list (55).  His 17 wins at the NCAA tournament is fourth all-time in Penn State history as well.


"Frank Molinaro leaves Penn State as a national champion and one of its all-time greats," Penn State head coach Cael Sanderson said.  "We are going to miss his presence in our program but we are very excited for Frank as he begins his coaching career.  He will be an outstanding wrestling coach because he will approach coaching with the same all-in attitude and work ethic he had as a collegiate wrestler."


Goodale commented on the addition, citing Molinaro’s key experience of winning on the biggest stage of the sport. “Having Frank Molinaro as an assistant coach will be such a tremendous asset to the Rutgers wrestling program, our student-athletes, and this coaching staff,” Goodale said. “He comes from one of the top programs in college wrestling, so there is no doubt he will bring plenty of knowledge and discipline to our wrestling room. He has a work ethic that is unmatched at this point.”


A three-time New Jersey state champion at Southern Regional High School, Molinaro made an immediate impact for the Nittany Lions after an initial redshirt season in 2007-08, placing eighth in the nation at 141 pounds at the 2009 NCAA Championships. He then bumped up a weight class to close his career, notching finishes of fifth-place and second-place at 149 pounds at the 2010 and 2011 national tournaments. Molinaro helped fuel Penn State to NCAA and Big Ten team titles in 2011 and 2012.


Goodale noted his strong belief in Molinaro’s ability to inspire a group of wrestlers.


“I have always believed Frank would make a tremendous coach ever since coaching against him when he was in high school here in New Jersey,” Goodale said. “You could tell by the way he motivates his teammates and makes everyone else around him better. His passion is this sport. It was a no-brainer for me to bring a national champion back to his home state who wants to win at the highest level.”


Molinaro spoke about his readiness to pursue his coaching career, along with the thrill of getting to work at Rutgers.


“I’m really excited for the opportunity to help build Rutgers wrestling and at the same time, help build New Jersey wrestling,” Molinaro said. “Being able to work with Coach Goodale and his great staff is an excellent atmosphere to be in. I learned a great deal at Penn State about being a better wrestler and living the right lifestyle. I feel I have a lot to bring to Rutgers in all aspects of wrestling, from mental preparation to physical training.”


The four-time All-American echoed Goodale’s excitement, hitting on his hopes of immediately impacting Rutgers’ wrestling room.

“I can’t wait to get started,” Molinaro said. “It will be great to get working with the team. I hope to be able to bring a lot of energy to the room and really impact practices right away.”


Rutgers 165-pound standout and three-time NCAA qualifier Scott Winston summed up the feelings of the current RU squad. The chance to work with a wrestler of Molinaro’s caliber tops Winston’s list.


“He’s a four-time All-American and national champion,” Winston said. “Anytime you can be around someone like that to see how they train and how they live their life, you’re going to get better. This will be an automatic boost of energy in our room. We can all get better from watching how Frank does things. It’s a huge addition for Rutgers in every aspect of a wrestling program.”




Patrick Donghia