Cary Kolat is moving a little closer to Western Pennsylvania.
Kolat, the former four-time PIAA champion at Jefferson-Morgan, two-time NCAA champion and United States Olympic team member has been named head wrestling coach at Navy it was announced Friday by Naval Academy athletic director Chet Gladchuk.
Kolat spent the last the last six years at Campbell University in Buies Creek, N.C., where he established himself as one of the top coaches in the sport after building the program into a Southern Conference power and a national name.
The Camels have seen unprecedented success over the last four seasons, winning three Southern Conference tournament titles and two regular-season league championships. Kolat’s teams had 19 NCAA qualifiers, 12 conference champions and 28 medalists at the conference tournament.
“The Navy community is very pleased to welcome one of the most accomplished competitors and finest coaches in the sport of wrestling to Annapolis," Gladchuk said in a release. “The influence with which Coach Kolat has had on so many speaks volumes to his commitment to success at every level of competition. I am extremely impressed with his professionalism, technical knowledge, ambition and confidence, along with the manner in which he exudes an enthusiastic will to win. Today is a big day for our Midshipmen and our program as we turn the head coaching responsibilities over to a coach with great anticipation and widespread enthusiasm.”
Campbell finished the 2019-20 season with an 11-2 record that featured wins in each of the last nine duals. CU put together an undefeated mark (7-0) in conference meets. Campbell won its second straight conference tournament championship in four years by producing five individual champions. A program-record six wrestlers qualified for the NCAA Championship for a second consecutive year.
"I am honored to accept the position of head wrestling coach at the United States Naval Academy," said Kolat. "I would like to thank Navy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk for the opportunity he has given me to lead this program. I did not get to where I am on my own, so I feel very fortunate that some of my staff will be joining me. We have big plans for Navy wrestling and we are looking forward to getting our feet on the ground in Annapolis and begin moving forward."
Kolat was named one of eight finalists for NWCA Coach of the Year, and was named Southern Conference Coach of the Year.
Kolat arrived at Campbell prior to the 2014-15 season after serving as associate head coach at North Carolina from 2010-14. He also served on the coaching staffs at Lehigh, Wisconsin, West Virginia and his alma mater, Lock Haven.
A two-time NCAA Division I wrestling champion, Kolat was a four-time All-American who went on to compete in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. A three-time World Cup gold medalist, he also won World silver and bronze medals.
His career also includes three U.S. Open championship medals and a pair of Pan-Am Games first-place finishes. Kolat was a member of the U.S. National Team from 1991-2002.
At Jefferson-Morgan, Kolat was one of the best wrestlers in Pennsylvania history, winning four PIAA Class AA championships en route to a 137-0 career record. He was named the Outstanding Wrestler at the state meet all four years.