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  • Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Photo: Tony Rotundo

    AJ Schopp to Return to Edinboro as Head Assistant Coach

    One of Edinboro’s all-time greats is coming back home and joining the Fighting Scots coaching staff. This afternoon Edinboro announced that three-time NCAA All-American AJ Schopp will join the staff at his alma mater as the team’s head assistant coach. 

    Schopp has spent the last seven seasons on the Purdue Boilermakers coaching staff. A career 133 lber, Schopp undoubtedly had to work closely with Purdue’s 2023 NCAA finalist Matt Ramos and two-time Big Ten runner-up Devin Schroder - both of whom were 125 lbers. During his time in West Lafayette, Purdue sent 47 wrestlers to the NCAA Tournament. Ramos’ 2023 run accounted for the only All-American finish; however, Schroeder and three other teammates were named NWCA first-team All-Americans after the 2020 tournament was canceled. 

    Quickly after his career at Edinboro was finished, Schopp got into the coaching ranks by spending two years as an assistant at South Dakota State. While with the Jackrabbits, 133 lber Seth Gross captured the program’s first Big 12 championship and advanced to the NCAA finals. 

    As a student-athlete at Edinboro, Schopp amassed a career record of 133-17. His winning percentage (.887) remains second in school history. During each of his final three seasons at Edinboro Schopp got on the NCAA podium finishing fourth twice, before ending his career in third. 

    That third-place finish occurred the hard way, as Schopp was upset in the first round and reeled off seven straight wins (four via fall) to finish third. He finished his tournament with a 4-3 win over the top-seeded Big Ten champion Chris Dardanes of Minnesota. Schopp's barrage of bonus points in the consolation bracket helped lead Edinboro to a team trophy and a third-place finish at the 2015 NCAA Tournament. 

    Schopp also claimed EWL championships in each of his first three seasons and was an NCAA Round of 12 finisher as a freshman. 

    Schopp’s experience coaching in the Big Ten, coupled with his name recognition within the Fighting Scots program, will be invaluable to an Edinboro squad that went 2-12 in 2023-24 and did not have an NCAA qualifier. Edinboro does have a very talented lightweight joining the fold in the fall as the team has signed two-time Pennsylvania finalist Chris Vargo of Bentworth High School. Vargo made national headlines by defeating Jax Forrest in the regional tournament.

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