University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown

Patrick Pecora

  • Head Coach, Wrestling
  • Athletics Director

Pat Pecora, who also doubles as Pitt-Johnstown’s Athletic Director since July 2008, took over the Mountain Cat wrestling program in 1976.

In 43 years, his teams have captured 22 NCAA Regional Championships, including five straight from 2003 through 2007 and ten in a row from 1992 through 2001.  Coach Pecora, who has led Pitt-Johnstown to the four straight PSAC Dual Meet Championships, has been selected as the NCAA Regional “Coach of the Year” 18 times.  His Mountain Cat squads have won a pair of NCAA Division II National Championships, and have 35 Top-20 national finishes, 23 Top-10 finishes, and 11 Top-5 finishes.  They have combined to win 50 team tournaments and 597 dual meets.  Coach Pecora has tutored 154 All-Americans and 14 individual national champions who have combined for 22 titles, including Carlton Haselrig, the only six-time NCAA National Champion.  Academically, his teams led the nation in NWCA All-Academic Wrestling Team selections from 1997 through 2000.  Since 1990, Coach Pecora has coached over 100 NWCA All-Academic Wrestling Team members.

In 1996 and 1999, his teams captured the NCAA Division II National Championship, the first and second in school history.  In 1995, 1999, and 2019, Coach Pecora was named NCAA Division II National “Coach of the Year.” Also in 1999, he received the National Wrestling Coaches Association Coaching Excellence Award, given to the best coach in all divisions.  Coach Pecora also coached the National All-Star Team, which showcased the best wrestlers in the nation from all divisions.

On Feb. 14, 2012, Coach Pecora became the first in NCAA Division II history and just the sixth in all divisions to earn 500 career dual-meet victories when his Mountain Cats defeated Shippensburg University, 39-3.  Coach Pecora’s 597 dual meet wins rank second among all coaches and just 19 shy of matching the Oregon State’s Dale Thomas for the most among all coaches in all collegiate divisions.  His teams have averaged nearly 14 dual meet victories each year.