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Legendary Pitt wrestling coach Rande Stottlemyer dies at age 62

Former University of Pittsburgh wrestling coach Rande Stottlemyer. (Photo Courtesy of Pitt Athletics)

PITTSBURGH — Iconic University of Pittsburgh wrestling coach Rande Stottlemyer, whose association with the Panthers program spanned nearly four decades, died Sunday at age 62, the university announced on its website.

A three-time All-American with the Panthers from 1974-78, Stottlemyer went on to coach Pitt for 34 years, retiring in 2013 as the winningest coach in school history with a record of 304-231-12. He produced 56 EAstern Wrestling League individual champions, 33 All-Americans, and three national champions. He was a five-time EWL Coach of the Year honoree.

During his final four seasons at Pitt, Stottlemyer guided the Panthers to three EWL regular-season championships (2010, 2011, 2012) and three EWL tournament titles (2011, 2012, 2013). Pitt placed 15th in the nation in each of his final two seasons at the helm.

A native of Hermitage, PA, Stottlemyer was a standout wrestler at Hickory High School, where he was a PIAA tournament runner-up and a two-time Junior National Freestyle champion. He had a 68-16-2 career wrestling record at Pitt, and captured one EWL 134-pound championship.

Stottlemyer’s many Hall of Fame recognitions include selection to the EWL Hall of Fame and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame’s Lifetime Service to Wrestling Award.

First-year Pitt head wrestling coach Keith Gavin competed under Stottlemyer from 2004-08. Gavin crowned his collegiate career with a perfect 33-0 record as a senior when he claimed the 174-pound NCAA championship.

“Coach Stottlemyer gave me an opportunity of a lifetime by bringing me to Pitt,” Gavin said. “He never gave up on me when a lot of other coaches probably would have and for that I am forever grateful. His impact goes beyond teaching wrestling. I find myself still using his sayings not only with our student-athletes but with my own kids as well. He was known for his integrity and how he treated people. He was truly one of the best people I ever knew.”