After Frank Molinaro won the 149-pound national championship in March, the senior said he wanted to continue his involvement in wrestling in some shape or form.
The only thing not decided was where that next step would be, but now he has made a decision. Molinaro is going home.
Rutgers announced Monday the New Jersey native, Molinaro, would join the coaching staff of its wrestling team as an assistant coach.
“It’s a great opportunity to be able to go back home and coach,” the Penn State senior said. “And not only help out Rutgers, but build New Jersey wrestling at the same time.”
Molinaro will join a staff headed by head coach Scott Goodale, who has been at the helm of the Scarlet Knights’ program since 2007.
The two have known each other since Molinaro was much younger, and Goodale said their history should allow Molinaro to hit the ground running when he begins coaching.
“It’s going to be an easier transition than it would be anywhere else just because we have a relationship and he has a relationship with our guys,” Goodale said. “We’ve been in constant communication. We’ve talked throughout his five years while he was at Penn State.”
After being a three-time New Jersey State champion at Southern Regional high school, Molinaro continued his success at the college level when he arrived at Penn State.
While becoming a four-time All American and a national champion, Molinaro adopted the styles of Cael Sanderson and his coaching staff. The senior said he hopes to utilize what he has learned in his own coaching techniques.
“I’ll just take my passion for the sport of wrestling,” Molinaro said. “Coach Cael, everything he taught me about wrestling and just life in general.”
Another thing Molinaro can bring to the table as an assistant coach is his work ethic. The senior’s teammates often referred to him as one of the team’s hardest workers.
Goodale said Molinaro’s work ethic helped mold him into the successful wrestler he was in college, and that will translate into his success as a coach.
Since Molinaro first met Goodale at a wrestling club as a little kid, the two have remained in contact. Molinaro said the head coach worked hard to bring him to Rutgers as a coach, and the two have similar personalities.
“I’m really looking forward to working along side him,” Molinaro said. “He’s super competitive like I am, so it’s going to be fun working together.”
After working to balance college and wrestling during the past five years, Molinaro will be able to pass on that knowledge to younger wrestlers as he begins his coaching career.
Goodale said adding someone to the coaching staff like Molinaro will help make an immediate impact on his wrestlers.
“The best thing about it is that he’s fresh off the national tournament, so he’s going to come in immediately and the things he’s learned at Penn State, he’s going to incorporate into our room right away.”
With a wealth of knowledge provided to him during his years at Penn State, Molinaro said he can pass along what he has learned to help other wrestlers.
“I think I can just teach them the grind,” Molinaro said. “College wrestling is a grind. It’s not easy, and it takes a lot of consistency, discipline, doing things right in practice.”
Molinaro, who wants to continue training as he coaches, said being able to do that will help demonstrate techniques to helps Rutgers’ wrestlers succeed.
“It’s living the lifestyle during the season,” he said. “It’s something that I learned throughout my career and something that I can hopefully teach these kids.”