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Ryan Cooley Brings His Signature Moves to the Mount
By Erin Walsh and Michael Doughty

With the addition of Men’s Wrestling for the 2012-13 academic year, Ryan Cooley has been named the program’s first head coach. Mr. Cooley comes to the Mount after a four-year career at New York University and a coaching stint at Hunter.

           Ryan Cooley

Wrestling Coach 
Ryan Cooley

While at NYU, Mr.Cooley served as a team captain as a senior with the Violets, and used his talent and wrestling experience with the program at Hunter starting in the fall of 2008. While at Hunter, he assisted with the day-to-day running of the program, which included recruiting, scheduling, fundraising, and providing academic support.

On the competition side, Mr. Cooley mentored one national qualifier and one student-athlete who advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2009 and was named the City University of New York Athletic Conference Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

He graduated with a bachelor of arts inmathematics from NYU in 2007, and currently resides in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Q: What will the team add to the full athletics roster at theMount?
A: I’m looking to fill out my roster with student athletes who want to succeed in the classroom, as well as on the wrestling mat. In addition to their academic and athletic responsibilities, I expect members of our team to be active in all aspects of campus life. One aspect of life on campus that I will expect all wrestlers to be involved in is supporting other athletic teams.

Q: Share with us your recruiting methods
A: This year I’ve cast a broad net in recruiting. Since being hired last summer, I’ve attended high school wrestling meets almost every weekend with the goal of meeting as many student athletes as possible. I’ve attended meets in New York City, as well as on Long Island, and in Westchester, Monroe, Orange, and Rockland Counties. I’ve travelled to Albany on a few occasions for big tournaments. I’m regularly in contact with wrestlers I’ve met at tournaments, as well as some athletes whom I haven’t met, but who are interested in the Mount. Over the last few months, we’ve started to gain momentum by receiving large numbers of applications and a few commitments from student athletes, and I expect those numbers to rise once the wrestling season ends and high school wrestlers start to focus more on their plans for next year.

Q: What do you love most about wrestling and coaching the sport?
A: There’s a quote that’s often credited to legendary Iowa Wrestling Coach Dan Gable (although I’ve heard him admit that he never said it): “Once you’ve wrestled, everything else in life is easy.”

When I was young, I played almost every sport and was very successful in most of them. Wrestling was the only sport that I didn’t experience success in early on. Since I wasn’t successful, I invested more time in wrestling, because I viewed it as a challenge. As my commitment to the sport grew, I began to see results.

In many sports, attributes that athletes have little or no control over, such as height or speed, play huge roles in determining how good they may become.

In wrestling, these attributes play a role, but a lack of talent or natural ability can be overcome through hard work and commitment. Usually the wrestler who has worked the hardest will experience the most success. Wrestling demands a high level of commitment, hard work, and discipline, and these traits carry over into all aspects of life. My coaches instilled these traits in me when I was young, and they have shaped the man that I am today. I hope to do the same thing for my student athletes.