Zack Rey after a win at the Pan American Games in 2015 (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- Lehigh head coach Pat Santoro has finalized his coaching staff for the 2018-19 season with the addition of three-time All-American and 2011 NCAA Champion Zack Rey '12, who will serve as the Volunteer Assistant, while also working with the Lehigh Valley Wrestling Club.
"We had Zack as a student-athlete and then as a RTC athlete so to watch his growth, especially over the last three years, working with some of our guys on his own time was impressive," Santoro said. "It was neat to see how selfless he was. He was still training for competition but was willing to help our guys on his own time, which was pretty important.
"He understands the program and how we operate," Santoro continued. "We're excited to have him be a part of it. Having a national champion on your staff is always a good thing."
Rey has been training with and competing for the LVWC since his graduation from Lehigh in 2012. A three-time Pan American champion (2013, 2014, 2015) and two-time Cerro Pelado International champion, Rey is a two-time U.S. World Team Trials runner-up and also finished second at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.
In 2015, Rey represented the United States at the World Championships in Las Vegas, competing at 125 kg/275 lbs.
Rey was a four-year starter and a three-time All-American at heavyweight for the Mountain Hawks. He finished third as a sophomore in 2010 and capped his career with a runner-up finish in 2012. As a junior in 2011, Rey won Lehigh's 27th individual national championship in wrestling, defeating rival Ryan Flores of American in the finals at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
Rey posted a 116-14 record for Lehigh and currently ranks fourth on the school's career wins list. He was a four-time EIWA finalist, winning a title in 2010, and won the prestigious Midlands Championships in December 2010. Rey also posted an eighth place finish in freestyle at the World University Championships prior to his junior season.
He will work primarily with Lehigh's upper weights, including EIWA champion heavyweight Jordan Wood, but Rey's experience should benefit Lehigh wrestlers at all weight classes.
"Zack is a very good worker and he understands the sport," Santoro said. "Just because he was a heavyweight doesn't mean he doesn't know wrestling. His understanding of the sport is pretty deep."
A native of Hopatcong, N.J., Rey was a two-time state champion and three-time placewinner. Rey graduated from Lehigh in 2012 with a degree in earth and environmental science.
Rey and his wife Diane have three daughters, Emma, Zoey and Aria.
The 2018-19 Lehigh wrestling season is presented by the Historic Hotel Bethlehem.