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October 10, 2019

Former University of Maryland Wrestling Coach, Kerry McCoy, Offers Advice to Athletes

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Coach Kerry McCoy began his coaching career at the University of Maryland on May 12, 2008. The former All-American and Olympic wrestler guided the Terps to four top-20 finishes at the NCAA Championships, three ACC titles, and coaching a total of seven Terps to a total of 11 All-American. Coach McCoy was also named ACC Coach of the Year three times. McCoy was also inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2014. 

The team had its first win in the powerhouse conference over Michigan State in 2016. Highlights for a few of his players are: he produced eight Big Ten placers and 12 national qualifiers. He also had 20 Academic All-Big Ten selections since joining the conference, in addition to two Big Ten postgraduate scholars. Below are a few more of coach McCoy’s accolades. 

  • Sent seven wrestlers to the NCAA Championships
  • 2012 University of Maryland Male Coach of the Year
  • Coach for the Olympic Men’s Freestyle Wrestling team
  • Spent three seasons as head coach at Stanford
  • McCoy was also a two-time Olympian for the United States and took fifth place at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, and seventh in 2004 in Athens
  • Won five straight U.S. National Freestyle Wrestling Championships from 2000 to 2004
  • Named ACC Coach of the Year three times

Coach McCoy will be stepping down as coach after the NCAA championships. We were lucky to be able to discuss what a powerhouse school looks for in potential competitors. 

LRT Sports: What qualities do you or would a powerhouse school look for in recruits?

It sounds like a cliche, but good kids with high character first. Hard-working on the mats as well as in the classroom. Someone who wrestles year-round. If they are not competing, they are training. Desire to be here is a big bonus.

LRT Sports: What is the best way for a recruit to get on a coach’s radar?

Email or call me. Send links to videos. Compete in high level national tournaments. Come up and introduce yourself when possible.

LRT Sports: What is your preferred way that athletes should contact you?

Email or phone

LRT Sports: What is the best advice that you can give recruits who are looking to play at the college level?

Be proactive. If you are interested in a program, let them know it. Don’t be afraid to make the first contact. Also, overshare, the more we know about the recruits the better.

LRT Sports: When reviewing recruit’s highlight tapes, what should stand out in their view?

Style, pace, technical awareness. Also how they respond to wins and losses.  

LRT Sports: What are the main do’s and don’ts for a recruit’s highlight tape?

Don’t only send “easy matches”. It’s good to see tough matches and even losses.

LRT Sports: When do you recommend recruits put together and share their highlight reels?  Is it best to make their highlighted reel during offseason? In the middle of season, or after each game?

As soon as possible. They can always edit/add stuff later. The more we see the better we can evaluate.

LRT Sports: What advice do you have for recruits who get turned down by their dream schools? What are their options if they don’t gain the recruiting attention they desire?

If they get turned down by their dream school, there is probably a good reason. Recognize there are a lot of opportunities out there. Go to the next best that is a good fit and if really needed, you can always transfer to your “dream school” later but give it a full try. If they are not getting the attention they desire, they have to reach out on their own. Be persistent.

LRT Sports: When it comes to athlete’s social media, what do you look for that is either a do or a don’t?

Social media gives a pretty clear picture of who they are, so if there is stuff on social media that does not represent them well, I recommend removing it. We like to see kids who have other interests but are really into wrestling.

LRT Sports: What are your expectations for incoming players in the classroom, in the weight room, and on the course?

Work as hard as they can to be the best. Be ready to attend study hall and take other academic responsibilities seriously. Workout through the summer. Typically we will send a summer training plan that will give a guideline. Get as much preparation as possible.

Update: Maryland wrestling coach Kerry McCoy stepped down at end of the 2019 season.