PHILADELPHIA The University of Pennsylvania has announced the hiring of Rob Eiter as its head wrestling coach on Tuesday. Eiter, who has served as an assistant on Penn’s staff for the past two seasons, will be the 18th head coach in the 103 seasons of Penn wrestling.
“Rob’s extensive experience in coaching as well as his accomplishments as an athlete have prepared him well for a head coaching role,” Penn’s Director of Athletics Steve Bilsky said. “We are excited he will take this next professional step at Penn, and his two years as an assistant in our program will serve him well.”
“I cannot express how happy my family and I are for this opportunity,” Eiter said. “Penn wrestling has a long tradition, with more than 100 years of competition, and I look forward to continuing that tradition. I want to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Bilsky for allowing me the honor and privilege of coaching the young men that make up the Penn wrestling family. At the same time, I want to thank those young men for never losing sight of their goals during this search process and maintaining their positive attitude and work ethic in the room.”
Over the past two seasons, Eiter has coached six EIWA champions as well as an NCAA champion and All-America in 2007 graduate Matt Valenti. Penn has won 24 dual meets in his two seasons involved with the program and sent 16 wrestlers to the NCAA Championships.
Eiter, a 1991 graduate of Arizona State, brings a wealth of collegiate and international coaching experience with him. Prior to coming to Penn in 2006, Eiter served as an assistant coach at Northwestern where he helped guide the Wildcats to a 13th-place finish at the 2006 NCAA Championships. That season, seven Northwestern wrestlers qualified for the NCAA Championships and three of those grapplers earned All-America honors.
Before his stint at Northwestern, Eiter served as an assistant at Clarion (Pa.) University where he coached Sheldon Thomas to an NCAA title and tutored Clarion’s first-ever four-time All-America, Bryan Stout.
This past July, Eiter served as an assistant on the United States’ entry to the 2008 FILA Jr. World Women’s Championships in Turkey. He also coached the United States team at the 1999 Women’s World Championships.
Before he began his coaching career, Eiter was a standout wrestler. He was a member of the 1992 and 1996 Olympic freestyle teams as well as the 1993 and 1995 World Championships teams. He was a five-time U.S. Open national champion and two-time World Cup silver medalist.
The Quakers enter the 2008-09 season ranked tied for 21st in the InterMat polls and have seven wrestlers ranked in the top 20 in their weight class. The seven ranked grapplers ties Penn for fifth-most in the country entering the season.
Penn begins its 2008-09 season with Wrestle-Offs on Sunday, Nov. 2 and its first home meets of the season on Nov. 22 when the Quakers host Princeton and Michigan starting at noon.