2022 NCAA runner-up Patrick Glory after his semifinal win (photo courtesy of Tony Rotundo; WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
The "Glory Days" aren't ending for Patrick Glory just because his Princeton wrestling career soon winds down. The NCAA runner-up has big plans for his life, and he's pursuing them this offseason at the expense of trying to make another United States World Team.
While many of the nation's top wrestlers are on their competitive grind on the World Team Trials circuit, Glory is spending time in the Bahamas, working his routines, trusting his training, and focusing his energies on a Wall Street internship that runs from June to August.
In Glory's mind, he knows himself, knows how to train, and has zero doubts about his ability to stoke his competitive fire again in the fall, so this summer is about life and balance.
"To me, it's always been a huge, huge motivator," Glory said of seeking wrestling-life balance. "It's always been a huge factor for me and my family, just being a complete individual. I feel like I owe it to so many people who have gotten me to this point. It's really, really hard and it's very time-consuming, but I think I enjoy balancing everything."
Glory will spend 10 weeks in a rotational program with CitiGroup in finance that he plans to be a huge piece of the next chapter in his life. If all goes to plan, the future will also include wrestling and training for the 2024 Olympics, but nothing has been etched in stone. That's the whole point as Glory ponders a career and life after Princeton wrestling.
Coach Chris Ayres can only assume that his three-time All-American will outwork and out-hustle everyone on the trading floor, which should have Wall Street execs eventually tripping over themselves to hire him on a full-time basis. As talented as Glory is on a wrestling mat, Ayres is quick to note that he is even more coachable and eager to learn.
Those are traits that can take him far, and he intends to start that journey right away.
"He's just got such an advantage when he walks in, whatever he's going to do," Ayres said. "He's going to dominate because he's gone through this. I believe our guys are the toughest guys in the country 100 percent because they have to go through the academics, then we run like a Big Ten schedule. He's ready."
2022 NCAA runner-up Patrick Glory's semifinal bout with Vito Arujau (photo courtesy of Tony Rotundo; WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
Glory has had plenty thrown at him in his Princeton career and nothing has broken him yet, so Ayres might be onto something. Last season, Glory worked through injuries and social media truthers who accused him of ducking opponents. He battled a tough weight cut to stick at 125 pounds and bounced back from a loss to Cornell's Vito Arujau, by beating him in the NCAA semifinals, before dropping a 5-3 decision to Michigan's Nick Suriano in the finals.
All those events came on the heels of a 2020-'21 season that the Ivy League canceled and a 2019-'20 season where the NCAA Championships were called off. All told, the NCAA appearance was Glory's first since placing sixth as a freshman in 2018-'19 and it was his first-ever appearance in an NCAA final, which might not have been the case had he gotten the opportunity to compete in the two previous national tournaments.
As much wrestling - and winning - as Glory did through his time at Delbarton High School in New Jersey and early at Princeton, he was still on a learning curve at NCAAs.
"What didn't I learn at NCAAs, I think, is the easier question to answer," Glory said. "The NCAA tournament is such a different atmosphere and incredibly competitive. I think having the experience there goes a long way. That experience sophomore year would have helped so much in terms of helping me know what to prepare for. Three years off is a long time.
"You can say it doesn't matter and put it out of your head the best you can, but the reality is, I think just being one year more veteran to that tournament would have helped me out a lot in that scenario."
Glory will have that year of experience going into the 2022-'23 season, and, in all likelihood, he'll be back to do battle again at 125 pounds. Whether or not the cut is a challenge, it's one that Glory is embracing and admits he can handle better.
That work will begin with an intimate relationship with new Princeton sports dietitian Hector Martinez, who Glory expects can help eliminate the "buoying" of his weight and post-weigh-in habits.
"I think it's going to be hard, but I think it's the situation that gives me the best chance to win," Glory said. "I think I can definitely do it better and definitely be more systematic about it, so I think I'm going to approach that with more intention, but I think the decision has been made that we're going to be going back down.
"Shout out to Hector. I think we'll be spending a lot of time together."
Patrick Glory at the 2021 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational finals (photo courtesy of Tony Rotundo; WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
Glory will likely be returning to a weight class that should include Iowa's Spencer Lee, as opposed to going up to 133 and staring down Penn State's Roman Bravo-Young and Oklahoma State's Daton Fix. It's a familiar position for Glory, where he hasn't entered a postseason as "The Guy" at his weight, but he's always adjacent to it.
Glory embraces that underdog role, even if he doesn't fully agree with it.
"You can talk numbers all day, but I think in my head, that's not really the case," Glory said. "When you get to this certain level where you can compete, you have to have this crazy self-confidence that may be delusional in some sense. I think wrestling those guys and seeing where I've ended up, it's not like I'm not one of them."
The time will soon come to prove that once again, maybe at which point Glory gets another chance to run out for the finals to Bruce Springsteen's "Glory Days," as he did to face Suriano.
"It was really cool for my family and everybody," Glory said. "We have a lot of ties to that song, and my grandfather's boat was named the Glory Days. Super cool."
To ensure the glory doesn't end at his Princeton graduation, he is preparing himself now for life while taking a rare mental break from competition.
Ayres has no doubts that Glory will be ready to make another NCAA title run this winter and that he'll someday be a dominating force on the trading floor, or wherever else he chooses.
"I'm not worried about any of our guys when they get out," Ayres said. "They're going to break the other employees."