ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Elmira College men’s wrestling will be paced by a new leader.

(PHOTO: EC Athletics)

Elmira Heights’ John Franchi was officially named the head men’s wrestling coach Thursday for the Soaring Eagles. Franchi was a star wrestler at Edison High School, Corning Community College and SUNY Cortland.

He takes over the program after C.J. Bostwick was the head coach for one season last year. Franchi is the current owner of 5th Round Fitness MMA in Elmira and was the first Elmira breakout star in professional MMA from the area.

Franchi fought for World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC), which was absorbed by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). John earned Fight of The Night against Cub Swanson in 2009 in Las Vegas which aired nationally in the WEC.

Franchi’s career MMA record was (6-2) overall and has been a head coach in the sport and wrestling at 5th Round Fitness MMA for over a decade. John’s final MMA fight was in 2010 when he beat Matt McCook in Niagara Falls at Raging Wolf MMA 10.

18 Sports will have more on Franchi and the Elmira College men’s program as it develops. The Soaring Eagles are in their third season as a new program in the sport.