ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – A new era is dawning for Cornell wrestling.
After a run of nearly 30 years, head coach Rob Koll is on his way to a new venture at Stanford University as their next coach. But, the Big Red believes they have found their perfect successor. Longtime assistant coach and Cornell All-American Mike Grey was recently named the Big Red’s new head coach.
Grey has been instrumental in recruiting and developing the future of the program since becoming an assistant in 2011. A two-time All-American, Grey won 117 matches in his time as a Cornell lightweight wrestler and has been in Ithaca ever since.
The move for Cornell is one that has been well-received on campus and in the wrestling community. Grey is known for his all-in mentality and commitment to excellence bettering each wrestler who comes to compete for a national championship. The 2011 Cornell graduate has helped produce nine national champions and 31 All-Americans in his decade of work in coaching.
Being the new head coach of a perennial national power is something that Grey knows is special.
“I’m just honored,” Grey told NBC Elmira via Zoom on Wednesday.
“There’s been so many great wrestlers and coaches honestly that have come from this program.
For everyone to trust me to give me the keys to the kingdom here, I’m proud. I don’t take this responsibility lightly,” added Grey.
Keeping big names in the lineup for Cornell was priority number one. Top grapplers like two-time national champion Yianni Diakomihalis, and recent Pan-American Champion, Vito Arujau, continue to take the program to heights its never been. Both return next year when wrestling action returns after their previous season was canceled due to the virus.
Under Rob Koll Cornell shaped IVY League and national wrestling history. Koll, who was the head coach at Cornell since 1993, won 20 conference titles and finished second in the country twice at the NCAA Championships (2010 and 2011). The Big Red won a staggering 17 consecutive IVY League titles through 2020, the longest streak in the league.
For Grey, who can’t wait to get to work, Cornell wrestling has one goal in my mind, be at the top of the podium as a team at the NCAA Championships. A feat that would be the first in Cornell wrestling history.
“I’m confident in my ability to work, that’s what it’s gonna take to get us to where we want to be.”
(PHOTO: Courtesy of Cornell Athletics)