April 20, 2006
Charlottesville, VA -
Steve Garland, a former All-American at the University of Virginia, has been named the head wrestling coach, as announced by Director of Athletics Craig Littlepage today. Garland has served the last six seasons as an assistant coach at Cornell University, where he helped the Big Red to four consecutive top-11 finishes at the NCAA Championships. He spent the last four seasons as the top assistant under 2005 NCAA Coach of the Year, Rob Koll.
"I've learned important things about Steve Garland from those in the college wrestling community," Littlepage said. "The outstanding work he did as Cornell University's assistant coach is a major reason why he is the best fit for UVa wrestling at this time. Cornell built a nationally-ranked program and Coach Garland was a big part of the program's development. We are fortunate that in addition to the experience he gained there, he is also one of our own and knows the UVa wrestling community as well as anyone. I anticipate that Virginia's program will take off and achieve great success under Coach Garland."
Over the past six years, Garland has helped the Cornell wrestling program move into the national spotlight. He has coached 17 All-Americans, four NCAA Finalists and 46 NCAA qualifiers.
"I am humbled by the support of the administration and the alumni of the University of Virginia wrestling program," Garland said. "This is an incredible opportunity and something that I have dreamed about since beginning my coaching career in 2000. As a graduate of the University of Virginia, I have a genuine love for the University and an intense desire to help the wrestling program become one of the top programs in the nation.
"For the past six years, I have been a part of a system that has consistently produced successful wrestlers at the national level under the direction of one of the best coaches in the country in Rob Koll. I feel very confident that I can implement many facets of this system at the University of Virginia."
The Cornell wrestling team has finished in the top five at the NCAA Championships two years in a row and have finished in the top 11 at the NCAA Tournament for four straight years. The Big Red won five of the last six Ivy League titles. He has worked closely with and been integral in the development of four-time All-American (2001-05) and two-time NCAA Champion Travis Lee and true freshman NCAA finalist Troy Nickerson (2006).
As the recruiting coordinator the last four years, he has helped bring in two top-five recruiting classes, which included three high school national champions, four junior national champions and numerous state champions. His 2005-06 class was ranked second nationally and included the No. 1 recruits at their weight classes in Nickerson (125 pounds) and Adam Frey (130 pounds).
Garland, a 2000 Virginia graduate, was a three-time Atlantic Coast Conference finalist and a winner of the ACC Wrestling Tournament Championship at 125 pounds in 1997. He qualified for the NCAA tournament in each of his three years of competition. At the 2000 NCAA tournament, Garland earned All-America honors, falling in the national title match after he upset the top seed, Jody Strittmatter of Iowa, 9-7 in overtime. Garland still ranks sixth all-time in UVa career wins (91).
In 2000, he was also named the ACC Wrestler of the Year. In his career, he compiled 93 wins, including a 30-5 mark during his senior season, when he competed in the NWCA All-Star meet.
Garland (28) and his wife, English, are expecting their first child this spring.