University of Pittsburgh alum and two-time All-American Matt Wilps joined the Pitt Wrestling coaching staff in the summer of 2013.
"It's exciting to have Matt Wilps join our coaching staff," head coach Jason Peters said. "Matt will add to what we've been doing here at Pitt. He's a local guy and I know he'll help with our upperweights' development. I think that he's looking forward to the new challenge in this role."
Wilps joins the coaching staff after a highly successful wrestling career with the Panthers. Wilps was an All-American at 197-pounds in 2012 and 2013, a three-time individual Eastern Wrestling League (EWL) Champion, and finished his impressive career with 129 wins, good for fifth on Pitt's all-time list. Additionally, Wilps was a member of Pitt's six EWL Championship teams over the past four seasons.
"I'm excited for the opportunity to continue to contribute to a winning program here at Pitt," Wilps said.
The winner of the 2013 Panther Award, given to the graduating senior athlete who has promoted Pitt Athletics through his outstanding athletic achievements, Wilps graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Economics and Psychology.
Career: A 2012 and 2013 All-American at 197 pounds...129-37 record with 16 pins, six technical falls and 29 major decisions...three-time NCAA qualifier (2010, 2012 and 2013)...three-time EWL champion (2010, 2012 and 2013).
2012-13: Finished with a 24-3 and earned All-America honors with a third place finish at 197 pounds...won matches over Derick Borlie (Virginia Tech), Richard Perry (Bloomsburg), Blake Rosholt (Oklahoma State), Kyven Gadson (Iowa Stae) and Taylor Meeks (Oregon State) at the NCAA Championships...captured his third EWL championship with a 5-4 decision over Richard Perry of Bloomsburgh...won his lone match at heavyweight, an overtime decision over No. 20 Ernest James of Edinboro which helped Pitt clinch a 19-18 victory...a two-time EWL Wrestler of the Week...has a 8-2 record against ranked opponents and a perfect 5-0 mark against EWL foes...tallied falls over Oklahoma State's No. 16 Blake Rosholt and WVU's A.J. Vizcarrondo...finished second at the 2012 Midlands Championships...picked up key wins in Pitt's victories over No. 17 Maryland and No. 11 Virginia Tech...opened his season with a pin of Penn State's Quentin Wright at the NWCA All-Star Classic in Washington D.C., Wilps was just the fifth Panther to have competed in the prestigious event.
2011-12: Finished with a 34-5 record and earned All-American honors for the first time with a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Championships...at the national tournament in St. Louis, Mo., he posted wins over No.31 Bagna Tovuujav (George Mason), No. 25 A.J. Kissell (Purdue), No. 3 Brent Haynes (Missouri) and No. 10 Alfonso Hernandez (Wyoming)...won his second career EWL title, defeating No. 26 Richard Perry (Bloomsburg) in the semifinals and No. 1 Chris Honeycutt (Edinboro) in the championship match...the win over Honeycutt was the 100th victory of Wilps' career and the first loss of the season for the Fighting Scot wrestler...won the Mat Town Invitational (Lock Haven) with a 3-0 record, including decisions over No. 28 Keith Witt (Kent State) and No. 14 Max Huntley (Michigan)...took second at the Buffalo Open, advancing to the finals with a 2-1 decision over No. 11 Joe Kennedy (Lehigh)...placed third at the Cliff Keen Invitational in Las Vegas with four wins over ranked wrestlers - No. 28 Keith Witt (Kent State), No. 14 Max Huntley (Michigan), No. 30 Brandon Palik (Drexel) and No. 10 Alfonso Hernandez (Wyoming)...finished 5-1 in EWL dual meets, including major decisions over No. 26 Richard Perry (Bloomsburg) and No. 29 Alex Thomas (Clarion)...went 8-3 overall against EWL opponents with all three losses coming to Honeycutt, including an overtime defeat in the semifinals of the NCAA Championships...other wins over ranked opponents included repeat wins over No. 11 Joe Kennedy (Lehigh), No. 14 Max Huntley (Michigan) and No. 30 Brandon Palil (Drexel) and decisions over No. 22 Andrew Campolattano (Ohio State), No. 16 Morgan McIntosh (Penn State) and No. 33 Nick Whitenberg (Eastern Michigan)...finished 21-4 against wrestlers ranked in the final WrestlingReport.com national poll..led the team in wins (34), dual wins (15), dual points (60) and longest win streak (16)...named the EWL Wrestler of the Week on Nov. 13, 2011...finished with four pins, one technical fall and eight major decisions...named the team's MVP.
2010-11: Redshirted the season...had a great year wrestling in open tournaments, posting an 18-2 record...won the Midlands Championships as the No. 10 seed, beating seventh-seeded John Schoen (Northwestern) 3-2, second-seeded Luke Lofthouse (Iowa) 10-2, third-seeded Joe Kennedy (Lehigh) 5-4 and fourth-seeded Byron Tate (Wartburg) 5-4...finished with two pins, two technical falls and seven major decisions.
2009-10: Wrestling in the 197-pound division, had a standout season, qualifying for the NCAA Championships after capturing the EWL Championships with a 12-4 victory over Alex Thomas of Clarion...compiled a 33-10 record while finishing 16-2 in dual meets...won two tournaments on the year, capturing the season opening Buffalo Open as well as the EWL Championships...posted a 4-2 mark at the Clarion Open, taking fourth place...posted a 3-2 mark at the Nittany Lion Open, good for fourth place...won the opening round of NCAAs with a 2-0 decision over Patrick Bond (Illinois) before falling to Eric Lapotsky of Oklahoma...finished with six pins and six major decisions.
2008-09: Went 17-17 as a true freshman for the Panthers in 2008-09...one of four freshman in the Panthers' starting lineup throughout the season...recorded four bonus-point wins on the year including two falls...was a 4-0 winner in his first collegiate match against Matt Reck (Navy)...posted a 4-2 mark at the Eastern Michigan Open, taking fourth place...posted a 3-2 mark at the Michigan State Open...went 4-0 at the Keystone Classic, capturing first place and helping the Panthers to a runner-up team finish...went 2-2 at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, helping Pitt to a fourth-place team finish.
High School: As a senior, tallied 40 wins and six losses en route to a PIAA third-place state finish...totaled a career record of 110-40 at Chartiers Valley under head coach Mike Macy...a freestyle All-American, finished in seventh place at Junior Nationals in 2007...competed in lacrosse, track, and football, where he was named to the all-conference team...member of the National Honor Society.
Personal: Born December 13, 1989...son of Jeff and Lisa Wilps...has two brothers, Tyler (current teammate at Pitt) and Noah, and one sister, Claire...double majoring in economics and psychology.