PHILADELPHIA – After six years as an assistant coach with the University of Pennsylvania wrestling program, Matt Valenti has been named Assistant Athletic Director for Recruiting as announced by the University’s Division of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics. He will transition from the coaching staff and begin his new duties immediately.
“First and foremost I am incredibly grateful to Dr. Grace Calhoun and Alanna Shanahan for this opportunity. I am humbled to be in this position and am tremendously excited to work with our senior leadership as an Assistant Athletic Director,” Valenti said. “I look forward to working with our DRIA staff to help mold the future experiences of Penn student-athletes. At the same time this is a bittersweet moment for me. The Penn Wrestling program has been a major part of my life for the past 13 years and has provided me with the resources to accomplish so many goals on and off the mat. As I transition to this new chapter of my career I know that the lessons I have learned as a coach and as a student-athlete within the Penn Wrestling program have provided a strong foundation for the future. It is an exciting time to be a fan of Penn Wrestling as the future of the program is very bright and I look forward to supporting the program from a slightly different vantage point.”
Valenti began his work in administration in 2012 when he added Assistant to the Deputy Director of Athletics duties to his coaching work. In that role, he served as a liaison to Penn’s Admissions and Financial Aid Offices for 32 sports while also assisting in training and orientation of new coaches and serving as an intermediary between coaches and academic administration on campus.
“This is a tremendous opportunity, not only for Matt but the entire Division of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics," Deputy Director of Athletics Alanna Shanahan said. "Few embody the ideals of success in competition, in the classroom, and after graduation like Matt Valenti. He has represented the University at the highest levels of his sport and has been a vital part of our wrestling program for over the last decade. For the last three years, he has been working towards this moment as he began assisting me with recruiting coordination and he is ready for this next step in his professional career.”
Alex Tirapelle, head wrestling coach at Penn, congratulated Valenti on his new role and thanked him for his career both on and off the mat for the Quakers.
“I want to congratulate Matt on his recent promotion,” Tirapelle said. “Matt has long aspired to get into athletic administration, so we are excited for him and his future role.Matt's Penn tenure already includes time as both a student-athlete and a coach, during which he has made significant contributions to the wrestling program. Matt is extremely hardworking, so we're looking forward to his influence extending beyond Penn Wrestling to the broader Penn Athletics community”
A two-time national champion at 133 pounds for the Quakers (2006-07), Valenti still holds Penn’s all-time wins record with 137 victories during his standout career in a Penn singlet. A three-time EIWA champion, Valenti was twice named EIWA Wrestler of the Year and was the 2007 Ivy League Wrestler of the Year to cap off three first-team All-Ivy selections.
Upon graduation, Valenti competed in freestyle where he advanced to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials semifinals and reached the U.S. World Team Trials semifinals on three occasions. He was the 2010 Sunkist Kids International champion and claimed the bronze medal at the 2009 Pan-American Championships.
While competing and coaching, Valenti continued his studies at Drexel University where he earned a Masters in Sport Management in 2014.
A national search will begin immediately for Valenti’s successor.