Eastern Michigan wrestling coach resigns

Eastern Michigan University announced Tuesday that Derek DelPorto resigned from the position of head coach of the men’s wrestling team. DelPorto served as the head coach of the squad for eight seasons.

“I appreciate Derek’s strong leadership qualities and the positive impact he has had on our wrestling program,” Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Heather Lyke said. “He has worked hard to move the program forward. We wish Derek all the best in his new endeavors with his wife and moving with her to Nashville.”

“I would like to thank everyone who has been a part of my amazing coaching journey over the past 15 seasons and especially the support given to me by all the coaches and administrators here at Eastern Michigan,” said DelPorto. “Walking away from the sport is a very difficult decision but certainly the right one for my family and me.”

The 38-year-old DelPorto grew up in Erie, Pa. and graduated from Cathedral Prep of Erie in 1994. He went on to wrestle at Slippery Rock where he earned his degree in English education in 1999 before receiving his masters in sport management from Eastern Michigan in 2007.

For his efforts at Slippery Rock as a student-athlete, DelPorto was inducted into the Slippery Rock Hall of Fame in 2011. The Erie, Pa. native compiled the third highest win total in Rock wrestling history with a 116-38 career record and was a three-time regional champion (177 lbs. in 1996, heavyweight in 1998 and 1999). DelPorto won the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference heavyweight title in 1998 before finishing off his collegiate career with an eighth-place finish in the 1999 NCAA Division I National Tournament.

DelPorto began his coaching career as an assistant coach at Slippery Rock from 1999-2000 before moving on to the University of Oklahoma as an assistant from 2000-02. From 2002-04, DelPorto was an assistant wrestling coach at Cornell University. He then returned to his alma mater as head coach for the 2004-05 season.

In his first season at Eastern (2006-07), DelPorto led the Eagles to their first winning record since the 1990-91 campaign, posting an 8-7 mark. DelPorto also led the Eagles to only the second MAC dual victory in the past decade. He followed up that campaign by coaching the Green and White to their best year in program history. That year’s team went 15-8-1 through the season, toping its previous top mark of 12-9-1, set in 1974-75.

In his career at Eastern, DelPorto coached a pair of MAC Champions and on 17 different occasions had student-athletes qualify for the NCAA Championships. In his last season (2013-14), DelPorto coached the Green and White to a 13-7 overall record and a 3-4 record in the MAC. EMU sent four grapplers to the 2014 NCAA National Championships, tying for the most during DelPorto’s eight-year run at the helm of the program. In addition to his team’s success, DelPorto became the winningest coach in Eastern Michigan wrestling history after he earned 85 victories during his tenure.

“I need to recognize and give special thanks to my Assistant Coach of seven years, David Bolyard, for helping bring the Eastern Michigan wrestling program back to relevancy,” said DelPorto. “I also need to thank all of my athletes over the past eight seasons here at EMU who believed in my system and worked just as hard to get us to where we are today. This program is in great shape and will only continue to thrive in the future. Heather is very knowledgeable about the sport and I’m positive she will continue to do what is best for this program to continue its success.”

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