Ronnie Perry coaching at the NCAAs (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
LOCK HAVEN, Pa. -- Ronnie Perry, a 2018 NCAA Division I national finalist, has been named the Lock Haven University head women's wresting coach.
LHU announced last week its plans to add varsity women's wrestling. The team will compete next year during the 2019-20 academic year.
Perry, a 2017 LHU graduate, spent this past season (2018-19) as the volunteer assistant coach with the Bald Eagles. Part of Perry's duties as head women's coach will be to still assist with the men's program.
As a volunteer assistant with the men's team, Perry helped in all phases of running a top-20 Division I program. His experience and skill in the wrestling room proved invaluable and he also played an important role in fundraising efforts.
Perry is both honored and excited, and he looks forward to being a part of this next chapter in LHU athletics.
"I am honored to be selected as the new head women's wrestling coach here at Lock Haven University," Perry said. "Currently, women's wrestling is one of the fastest growing sports at the collegiate level and it's rapidly reshaping the world of wrestling. On the heels of winning our second straight Eastern Wrestling League title, second top-20 showing at nationals and having a long tradition of excellence in men's wrestling, it seems appropriate that Lock Haven is opening the door to a new tradition of excellence with the establishment of a women's wrestling program. This is a remarkable opportunity for me to serve a university that has already given me so much."
Perry carved his name deep in the LHU history books with a Cinderella-run to the 2018 NCAA Division I finals. Competing at 149 pounds, Perry capped his remarkable Lock Haven career by becoming the first No. 15 seed in NCAA tournament history to reach the finals.
Perry's run to the finals and All-American status helped the senior close a brilliant career on the mats and his chapter was an important one in the rise, and the Bald Eagles' return to national prominence. Perry's win in the 2018 EWL finals marked the 100th of his career as he became the 20th member of LHU's 100-win club. Perry closed his senior season in 2017-18 with a 32-4 record and he finished with a 104-32 career record.
Following the 2017-18 season, Perry was named both the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) and EWL Wrestler of the Year.
LHU Director of Athletics Dr. Tom Gioglio is excited about the new program and feels confident in Perry's ability to build a championship caliber team.
"I am very excited to have Ronnie Perry officially join our coaching staff," Gioglio said. "Ronnie brings a wealth of wrestling knowledge, successful experience and he has demonstrated that he has the ability to accomplish many different things at a high level. Ronnie's enthusiasm and passion for wrestling will also be a strong asset when recruiting. This is a tremendous opportunity for Ronnie and I know he's going to build a women's program that will reach the same success as our nationally recognized men's program."
In May 2017, Perry earned his a degree in business administration and he just recently finished (May 2019) his master's in sport science at LHU.
On May 22, Lock Haven officially announced its plans to add women's wrestling as a varsity sport.
The addition of women's wrestling brings LHU's sport-sponsorship to 20 sports. Lock Haven currently sponsors 17 intercollegiate athletic programs including NCAA Division I field hockey and men's wrestling. All other sports compete at the NCAA DII level and within the PSAC. In August 2018, Lock Haven announced plans to add women's tennis and women's golf. Women's tennis will begin competition next year (2019-20) and women's golf will begin competition in 2020-21.