1988 Royalton-Hartland graduate Lou Rosselli, a two-time high school state champion in New York, was officially named the University of Oklahoma head coach on Tuesday, replacing Mark Cody.
Rosselli, a Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame member, has had a successful career both as a wrestler and coach, recently guiding Kyle Snyder to an Olympic gold medal.
For more on the hire, see Oklahoma's press release below:
Lou Rosselli, an assistant and associate head coach the last 10 years for one of the country's top collegiate wrestling programs, and who has wide-ranging experience with USA Wrestling, has been named the head wrestling coach at the University of Oklahoma. OU Vice President and Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione made the announcement Tuesday morning.
Arriving in Norman from Ohio State, Rosselli was promoted from Buckeyes assistant coach to associate head coach following the 2008-09 season after helping lead OSU to NCAA runner-up finishes in 2008 and 2009. He also played an integral role in helping deliver the program's first national championship in 2015.
"I look forward to leading this Oklahoma program and building on its significant tradition," said the 46-year-old Rosselli. "OU is a very strong and storied program with a ton of potential, and I'm hoping I can lead it to an eighth national title. I'm thankful to both Joe Castiglione and (OU wrestling administrator) Jason Leonard for giving me this opportunity."
"I look forward to leading this Oklahoma program and building on its significant tradition. OU is a very strong and storied program with a ton of potential, and I'm hoping I can lead it to an eighth national title."
A native of Middleport, N.Y., Rosselli was named the 2009 National Wrestling Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year and the 2014 USA Wrestling Freestyle Coach of the Year. He mentored four-time NCAA Champion Logan Stieber and two-time champ J Jaggers.
Additionally, the Sooners' new head coach has had a large presence with USA Wrestling and has served as a volunteer coach for the U.S. Olympic Freestyle Team at both the 2016 Rio Games, where the U.S. earned two medals (one gold), and the 2012 London Games, where the U.S. won three medals (two gold). As a three-time U.S. Freestyle World Team Coach, Rosselli led his squads to third-place finishes at the 2006 and 2011 FILA Wrestling World Championships, and to a fourth-place showing in 2007. He was named the 2007 Terry McCann Freestyle Coach of the Year for his efforts.
Rosselli, the 14th head wrestling coach in OU history, was named to the 2015 USA Wrestling coaching staff for the 2015 World Championships, and his 2009 team earned gold at the Pan American Championships. In 2010, he coached the U.S. World University Games Team, and he served as assistant coach when the U.S. placed third at the 2005 World University Games in Izmir, Turkey.
"I couldn't be more excited about Lou Rosselli joining the OU Athletics family and leading our wrestling program in the pursuit of national championships," said OU Vice President and Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione. "Lou not only has the collegiate coaching experience necessary to be in charge of a program of this stature, but he also has a history of significant Olympic involvement that is so important in today's recruiting world. While the position attracted many qualified candidates, I'm convinced we have the right person to lead our program back to excellence and enhance the student-athlete experience."
"While the position attracted many qualified candidates, I'm convinced we have the right person to lead our program back to excellence and enhance the student-athlete experience."
Rosselli was a wrestler on the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team (114.5 pounds), and earned gold at the 1997 World Cup and silver at the 1998 Pan American Championships. He was also a University National Freestyle champ in 1994 before capturing U.S. National Freestyle titles in 1995, 1996 and 1999.
A two-time All-American, Rosselli wrestled collegiately at Edinboro from 1989 to 1993. He was named the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference and Eastern Wrestling League Championships Outstanding Wrestler in his senior season and was a three-time PSAC champion at 118 pounds. In his rookie season, Rosselli was named the EWL Freshman of the Year and became the first freshman from Edinboro to qualify for the NCAA Championships.
Rosselli earned the Young Alumni Award from the Edinboro University Alumni Association and has been named to the Edinboro, Eastern Wrestling League and Greater Buffalo Sports halls of fame.
Prior to his stint with the Buckeyes, Rosselli served as a volunteer assistant coach at Edinboro for three years before being promoted to assistant coach for eight seasons. Rosselli earned a bachelor's degree in health and physical education from Edinboro in 1993.
Rosselli and his wife Amy are parents to Jordan, Ty and Jaxson.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
Ohio State Head Coach Tom Ryan
“Lou is a great human being. He pours his life into others. He has a very clear vision of what it takes for someone to be elite and he is a great leader by example. He invests in people and builds strong relationships with them. It has been a pleasure to work with him for ten years and build this program to the level at which it is at.
"Two words came to my mind when I found out Lou was hired at Oklahoma. The first was joy and the second word was reflection. I am beyond happy for Lou Rosselli and his family. The Oklahoma community got a great person and a great coach. Reflection, I reflected on when he first came to Columbus because he stayed with me. His family hadn't moved out yet and Lou moved in with my wife and I and my family. I just remember how excited we both were about the future, and it is just awesome to see what has happened here over the past 10 years and Lou was a big part of it. So the words I think of are joy and reflection. I'm very happy on so many levels for the many people that have crossed paths with Lou.”
Olympic Gold Medalist Kyle Snyder
"Lou values the correct things that you need to value if you want to lead people and if you want to create an environment and a culture that’s going to have success. It’s not just the fact that he’s a great wrestling coach and he knows a lot of techniques, but he also knows what it means to be a solid person and a good man, and he knows how to bring athletes from the ages of 18 to 22 to that same level.”
Nebraska Head Coach Mark Manning
"The University of Oklahoma, Joe Castiglione and (OU Wrestling Administrator) Jason Leonard hired a winner in Lou Rosselli. Lou has worked very hard through the years, not only to develop his wrestlers but also to develop himself as a coach. That’s an attribute that I think is really fantastic about Lou. He’s always trying to better himself, and that’s a great quality for a coach to have.
"Lou is a great leader because he’s going to lead by example by putting in the work you have to do to be a head coach. I know he’s going to get a good staff around him that will complement him and his abilities. He has an infectious personality that people will love about him. He has great energy, and I think he’s going to draw student-athletes to the University of Oklahoma where they won’t only have great academic experiences but also a great athletic experience because of where he can lead them.”
Four-Time NCAA Champion Logan Stieber
“He’s a huge motivator. I haven't met anyone just like him as a coach. He’s a great leader and he makes it clear how he wants you to win and how you can win. Him leaving is bittersweet. I have known him for the last six years, and he's an amazing coach to me, the best I could ask for. I know he wanted to be a head coach and he deserves everything he wants. I’m very happy for him and I’m happy for his family. He can finally do what he’s wanted to do for a while, and I think he will do a great job.”