Clarion names Dernlan head coach
Former Penn St. assistant looks to rebuild ‘rich tradition’
Matt Dernlan was named Clarion’s head wrestling coach, Golden Eagles' athletic director Dave Katis announced on Monday. He had been an assistant wrestling coach at Penn State for the past seven seasons.
The 39-year-old Dernlan replaces Teague Moore, who was the Golden Eagles head coach for the past five seasons and was recently named head wrestling coach at American University.
Dernlan comes to Clarion from Penn State where he was director of operations from 2009 – 2011 under head coach Cael Sanderson and part of the Nittany Lion staff that brought an NCAA Division I National Championship home in 2011. He was the first assistant and recruiting coordinator at Penn State from 2005-2009 and helped lead the Lions to a third place team finish in 2008. He was directly responsible three top four national recruiting classes in 2005, 2006, 2007 and also a top contributor in the outstanding 2010 class. He was also director of operations at PSU in 2004-2005.
Prior to his coaching experience at Penn State, Dernlan was the assistant coach at Ohio Northern University from 2001 – 2004, was assistant director of the Jeff Jordan Champ Camps from 1999-2000 and 1995-98 and assistant wrestling coach at St. Paris Graham High School in Ohio from 1997-99.
“I am excited to announce that Matt Dernlan has accepted the position as head wrestling coach at Clarion,” said athletic director Dave Katis. “Matt possesses all the attributes we were looking for in a head coach,” he continued. “He has a great background as a wrestler and a coach, is highly respected in wrestling circles, will be an outstanding recruiter and will be a strong, positive leader for our wrestling program in the classroom and on the mats. He is committed to graduating student-athletes and is motivated to be the best. The Clarion wrestling tradition is in good hands with Matt Dernlan.”
Dernlan becomes only the sixth head coach at NCAA Division I Clarion since 1960. Frank Lignelli re-started the wrestling program in the Fall of 1959 and coached through 1966. Bob Bubb elevated the program to elite NCAA Division I status as head coach from 1967- 92, while Jack Davis mentored from 1993-97, Ken Nellis from 1998-2006 and Moore from 2007 – 2011.
“I am honored and humbled to accept the opportunity to become the next head wrestling coach at Clarion University,” said Dernlan. “I want to thank President Whitney, Harry Tripp, Dave Katis, coach Bubb and the wrestling search committee for putting their faith in me in to lead this prestigious wrestling program.”
“I have been overwhelmed by the level of support the program attracts from our alumni, the community and the institution itself. I am eager to confront the challenges of reconnecting the program to its rich tradition, while at the same time being mindful of the responsibility for myself, the staff and the members of the program, that we must add to our tradition.”
“I so admire and respect former Clarion head coach Bob Bubb,” said Dernlan. “He built a tradition that only a few men have achieved in our great sport. He is a man dedicated to building men of integrity, character and action. His record stands among the nations elite and is an NWCA Wrestling Hall of Famer. I hope to follow and build upon the qualities that coach Bubb was dedicated to, along with all of the great men who have built the tradition and family that I am now a part of. I hope to honor them all by doing things the right way for the right reasons and restore Clarion wrestling to national prominence.”