Penn State Wrestling

Former Nittany Lion Kerry McCoy leading Maryland into first Rec Hall dual

Maryland head coach and former Penn State heavyweight Kerry McCoy, left, will coach his first dual inside Rec Hall on Sunday when the Terrapins visit the Nittany Lions at 2 p.m.
Maryland head coach and former Penn State heavyweight Kerry McCoy, left, will coach his first dual inside Rec Hall on Sunday when the Terrapins visit the Nittany Lions at 2 p.m. Photo courtesy Maryland Athletics

Take a look at the record books for Penn State.

Current wrestlers like Jason Nolf, Zain Retherford and Bo Nickal are in there. Some others with ties to Centre County are in there, too, with Boalsburg resident Ken Chertow and Bald Eagle Area graduate Quentin Wright.

Take a closer look and one name sticks out, appearing in or near the top five in most categories.

Kerry McCoy.

“McCoy is one of our all-time greats,” Penn State coach Cael Sanderson said. “When you think of Penn State wrestling, he’s one of the names that come to your mind. We’re real proud of what he did here. He was an extremely dominant heavyweight for many years.”

On Sunday, McCoy returns to where he dominated so many opponents.

He will coach his first dual in Rec Hall as Maryland and the Nittany Lions tangle at 2 p.m. on Senior Day.

“I actually didn’t realize it was,” McCoy said of the special day for Penn State seniors. “I tell the story all the time. It’s bittersweet. As an alum, I love what my alma mater is doing. The success they are having. As competition, I don’t really like it that much. I think they are doing alumni weekend, so I expect to have a good number of former teammates that are around the area and a lot fans that supported the program. It’s going to be a pretty special day.”

McCoy, who was inducted in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2014, is in his eighth season at the helm of Maryland. The Terrapins have claimed three ACC titles under McCoy.

Since transitioning to the Big Ten, however, Maryland has struggled. The Terps have won one conference dual in three seasons.

This season hasn’t been any easier. Maryland has two wins — against Columbia and George Mason.

But, at Penn State, everything seemed to come easy for McCoy.

He was a two-time NCAA heavyweight champion and holds the record for most Penn State wins as a sophomore with 47. That total is also second for wins in a season. He is second overall for career wins with 150 from 1992 to 1997.

In his final three years of wrestling for the Nittany Lions, McCoy suffered just one loss. He had 34 career pins with 11 coming in his redshirt senior and sophomore campaigns.

“It was everything,” McCoy said of donning a blue and white singlet. “I can honestly say that a majority of what I’ve accomplished in my wrestling career and coaching career was founded on part of my experience in high school, but really the time I had in Penn State with my coaches, my workout partners and the fans that supported the program. That really had such an impact on me for the rest of my days.”

McCoy still has a lot of memories in Happy Valley. Some — like his Senior Day bout in 1997 — he can describe as if they just happened yesterday.

He said the match against Lehigh and was a “good one.” He felt his performance was “good” too.

The Nittany Lions beat the Mountain Hawks 24-10. The match was 12-7 in Penn State’s favor with four bouts to go. McCoy finished the dual off with a 19-4 technical fall.

“It was one of the best feelings,” McCoy said. “One thing I was really fortunate as a heavyweight, typically, when you go to dual meets once the heavyweight class starts they turn the lights on and people start leaving. I was really forutnate that the fans were really supportive of me and they stayed to watch me wrestle.

“I just remember the feeling of pride that I had just to wrestle five years there and finish off at home and get a good win against a good opponent and have everyone there in the stands cheering and supporting me. It was definitely a special day.”

Nate Cobler: 814-231-4609, @ncoblercdt

No. 10 Illinois (8-2, 5-2 Big Ten) at No. 2 Penn State (11-0, 7-0)

When: 7 p.m., Friday

Where: Rec Hall

Radio: WRSC 1390

Fighting Illini

vs.

Nittany Lions

125: Travis Piotrowski (13-10)

vs.

No. 2 Nick Suriano (14-1)

133: No. 6 Zane Richards (19-2)

vs.

George Carpenter (1-9)

OR Triston Law (0-1)

141: Mousa Jodeh (11-13)

vs.

No. 11 Jimmy Gulibon (11-6)

149: No. 19 Eric Barone (8-5)

vs.

No. 1 Zain Retherford (16-0)

157: No. 12 Kyle Langenderfer (20-4)

vs.

No. 1 Jason Nolf (16-0)

165: No. 1 Isaiah Martinez (21-0)

vs.

No. 4 Vincenzo Joseph (12-2)

174: No. 12 Zac Brunson (24-5)

vs.

No. 7 Mark Hall (21-2)

184: No. 12 Emery Parker (24-4)

vs.

No. 2 Bo Nickal (15-0)

197: Andre Lee (9-12)

vs.

No. 9 Matt McCutcheon (12-3)

285: No. 15 Brooks Black (10-4)

vs.

No. 3 Nick Nevills (13-2)

Maryland (2-12, 0-7 Big Ten) at No. 2 Penn State (11-0, 7-0)

When: 2 p.m., Sunday

Where: Rec Hall

Radio: WRSC 1390

Terrapins

vs.

Nittany Lions

125: Michael Beck (5-10)

vs.

No. 2 Nick Suriano (14-1)

133: Billy Rappo (10-10)

vs.

George Carpenter (1-9)

OR Triston Law (0-1)

141: Jhared Simmons (4-10)

vs.

No. 11 Jimmy Gulibon (11-6)

149: Alfred Bannister (21-3)

OR Adam Whitesell (21-12)

vs.

No. 1 Zain Retherford (16-0)

157: Justin Alexander (5-5)

OR Danny Boychuck (13-11)

vs.

No. 1 Jason Nolf (16-0)

165: Patrick Gerish (10-10)

OR Josh Ugalde (5-9)

vs.

No. 4 Vincenzo Joseph (12-2)

174: Sam Rowell (11-19)

vs.

No. 7 Mark Hall (21-2)

184: Idris White (5-15)

vs.

No. 2 Bo Nickal (15-0)

197: David-Brian Whisler (14-8)

vs.

No. 9 Matt McCutcheon (12-3)

285: Youssif Hemida (14-8)

vs.

No. 3 Nick Nevills (13-2)

Note: Maryland wrestles Northwestern on Friday night.

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