COLLEGE PARK, Md. – University of Maryland wrestling head coach Kerry McCoy announced the addition of United States Olympian and former University of Pennsylvania coach Rob Eiter as an assistant coach Friday.
Eiter arrives at Maryland following nine seasons at Penn, six as the head coach, producing four All-Americans in his six years at the helm. The native Chicagoan brings Big Ten experience to College Park as well having served as an assistant at Northwestern for four seasons prior to taking over the Quakers.
“Rob is a great addition,” said McCoy. “He’s got a ton of experience in the sport. Being a former head coach, being an Olympian, a national team member means international connections, recruiting, just everything he brings to the table. He’s one of those guys that has all the bases covered and we’re really fortunate that he’s going to be coming aboard and helping move our program into the Big Ten.”
The Arizona State graduate has well over a decade’s worth of international experience and an abundance of collegiate coaching experience. Beginning in 1992, Eiter represented the United States in nine international competitions including an eighth-place finish at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.
Including his participation on the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team, Eiter represented the United States in nine elite-level international competitions. He also competed in the 1993 and 1995 World Championships. Eiter was a five-time U.S. Open national champion and won two silver medals at the World Cup.
His success on the mat translated into a decorated international coaching career. Eiter guided the 1999 United States women’s team to a first-place finish at the world championships, marking the first and only time a U.S. women’s team has won a world team title. In addition, Eiter’s 2007 and 2008 U.S. Junior Women’s World Championship team picked up seven medals, including two gold medals.
“There are only a few teams in the country that have multiple Olympians on their staff, we are now one of them,” said McCoy. “What he brings with his international coaching experience and his international experience as an athlete really just pulls everything together and keeps us on that top tier as far as a coaching staff.”
During his head coaching tenure at Penn, Eiter coached four All-Americans, highlighted by Lorenzo Thomas’ sixth-place finish at the NCAA Championships last season at 184.
Scott Giffin was Eiter’s first All-American as head coach of the Quakers. Giffin finished seventh at the 2010 NCAA Championships. In 2011, Zack Kemmerer wrestled to an eighth-place finish at 141 pounds, becoming Penn's first-ever All-American at that weight.
The following season, Micah Burak finished seventh at 197, while in 2014 Thomas became Eiter's highest-placing All-American with a sixth-place finish at 184 pounds, Penn's first-ever All-American at 184.
Off the mat, Eiter had three wrestlers named National Wrestling Coaching Association (NWCA) All-Academic. Mark Rappo and Gabriel Burak both earned the honor in 2011, and Erich Smith earned a spot in 2012. As a team, Penn was honored by the NWCA as an All-Academic squad.
As a head coach, Eiter instructed two Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) champions as well as coached seven All-Ivy selections including two wrestlers who were named Ivy League Rookie of the Year, Kyle Cowan (2011) and Thomas (2012). In addition, Eiter sent at least six wrestlers to the NCAA Championships in four of his six seasons.
In his nine seasons at Penn as head coach and an assistant, Eiter worked with 34 NCAA qualifiers, including 2007 national champion Matt Valenti, 42 EIWA place winners and seven EIWA champions.
Prior to his time with the Quakers, Eiter served as an assistant at Northwestern for four seasons (2002-06) after working as a volunteer assistant with the Wildcats from 1997-2002. While in Evanston, he served as the lead recruiter, and in 2003 the Wildcats brought in the nation's seventh-best recruiting class.
In 2005, he helped guide the Wildcats to a 14th-place finish at the NCAA Championships, their best finish in 15 years. That season, Eiter coached one All-American and four wrestlers to the Round of 12 at the NCAA Championships. Freshman Jake Herbert finished third in the country and won Northwestern's first Midlands’ title in 36 years.
From 1993-97, Eiter coached at Clarion (Pa.) University as an assistant. He served as recruiting and scheduling coordinator in addition to his role as conductor of the Golden Eagles Summer Wrestling Camp.
Eiter is a 1991 graduate of Arizona State University.