EDINBORO, Pa. -- First-year Edinboro wrestling coach Matt Hill today began the task of putting his coaching staff together with the appointment of Mike DePalma as assistant coach.
This marks DePalma's first coaching position, but he is no stranger to Edinboro wrestling fans. The native of Jeannette, Pa. wrestled for Edinboro from 2011-13 before transferring to Kent State. He would wrap up his career with the Golden Flashes, earning All-American honors as a senior.
Kent State is also where DePalma began his association with Hill. A former Edinboro wrestler himself, Hill served as an assistant coach at Kent during DePalma's time with the Golden Flashes.
Hill is now looking forward to watching DePalma evolve as a coach just as he did as a wrestler. "I'm very happy to have the opportunity to have Mike on my staff," related Hill. "I've known Mike since he's been in high school and I always liked his demeanor and passion towards the sport of wrestling. Mike is a former Fighting Scot and also wrestled for me at Kent State. He a true student of the sport and I can't wait to see him progress as a coach now.
After graduating from Kent State, DePalma has spent the last two years as a resident athlete at The Ohio State University Ohio Regional Training Center. He trained under World Team member Tervel Dlagnev, and competed in numerous international freestyle wrestling competitions. That included in competing in both the 2017 and 2018 U.S. Opens.
DePalma wrestled for Kent State for three seasons, compiling a 76-48 record while starting at 149 lbs. He capped his career with an All-American performance at the 2016 NCAA Division I National Championships. He finished fifth at 149 lbs., going 6-2 with wins over the number four, five and nine seeds. He was a three-time national qualifier for the Golden Flashes.
20838DePalma wrapped up his final season with a 29-9 record. He won the Mid-American Conference championship while leading the team with 15 bonus-point victories.
As a redshirt junior in 2014-15, DePalma was 21-19, placing third at the MAC Championships. He was 26-20 in his first season with the Golden Flashes in 2013-14, again placing third at the MAC Championships. He went 2-2 at Nationals, including a win over seventh seed Gus Sako of Virginia. He totaled 11 wins over nationally-ranked opponents.
As a Fighting Scot, DePalma redshirted as a true freshman in 2011-12, going 31-7 while competing at 141 and 149 lbs. The following year he served as the starter at 149 lbs., compiling a 21-12 record while competing primarily at 157 lbs. He finished third at the PSAC Championships and fifth at the EWL Championships. He was named to the 2013 Amateur Wrestling News All-Rookie Team.
DePalma graduated from Kent State in May 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology.