Derek Valenti"I am excited to be able to spend another year here at Virginia and am thankful that Coach Garland and the other coaches have welcomed me back," Valenti said. "Coach Garland has been a great mentor for me through my five years as a student-athlete and I look forward to learning more from him in the office and as a coach. I am also looking forward to developing our wrestlers into successful athletes as well as students."
Valenti joins a trio of fellow former All-Americans, Garland and assistant coaches Alex Clemsen and Jordan Leen, on the Cavaliers' coaching staff.
"Derek joining our staff is a dream come true for me," Garland said. "Every coach loves the idea of one of his own coming back to further work with the program he helped build. Derek was part of one of our most successful recruiting classes here and went on to have an outstanding career. He not only was an All-American here, but more importantly was a great student and leader in this athletics department. Derek knows our system and is the prototypical guy you want in and around your program."
Valenti wrestled at Virginia from 2008-13 and became the 13th All-American in program history in 2011 when he took eighth place at 149 pounds at the NCAA Championships. Valenti was a three-time NCAA qualifier (141 pounds in 2010, 149 in 2011 and 2013).
He accumulated 95 career wins, which ranks 10th in UVa history. The Newton, N.J., native posted a career record of 95-45 and ranks fifth in the Cavalier career annals with 52 dual-match wins. His 140 career bouts ranks ninth in program history. He finished his career with 16 falls, six technical falls and 12 major decisions.
Valenti was the ACC runner-up at 149 pounds in 2011 and 2013.
Valenti earned a bachelor's degree in environmental science from UVa in 2012 and a master's degree in environmental science this past spring.