Flynn to leave Edinboro for West Virginia head coach job

Category:  Sports
Wednesday, April 11th, 2018 at 6:47 PM

There are two things you could count on in Edinboro. Snow and Tim Flynn pacing the sidelines of Edinboro wrestling. One of those is set to change, as Flynn announced his resignation from Edinboro  to take over the West Virginia University wrestling program. Both schools announced the decision Tuesday. 

Edinboro Athletic Director Bruce Baumgartner said via a press release announcing Flynn’s departure: “Tim’s tireless efforts through the years built Edinboro wrestling into a top Division I program. We wish him the very best as he embarks on a new chapter in his career.”

Baumgartner added that the school will begin the search to replace Flynn immediately. 

Flynn spent 21 seasons as head coach of the Fighting Scots after five seasons as an assistant coach. In every season with Flynn at the helm, minus two, the Fighting Scots had at least one All-American. He is leaving Edinboro with an all-time dual record of 223-95-5.

Flynn totaled 15 Eastern Wrestling League team championships and 17 PSAC team championships. He has coached a total of 157 total national qualifiers and three national champions in Josh Koscheck, Gregor Gillespie and Jarrod King.

In a phone interview with The Spectator Tuesday night, Flynn said he was ready for the challenge moving to a new school offers, and that the move would be good for his family.

“I mean, I’m excited. I haven’t had any change in my professional career,” he said. “I’ve been at Edinboro a long time, so it’s very exciting and, you know, it’s nerveracking.”

Flynn’s Fighting Scots finished the 2017-18 season with a 5-1 record against EWL foes and an 8-5 overall record in duals, including a 21-15 victory over West Virginia on Feb. 15. 

Flynn coached three Edinboro wrestlers — Sean Russell, Korbin Myers and Andrew Shomers — to individual PSAC championships this year. Russell and Miller joined Billy Miller as EWL champions in early March. All four wrestlers will return for the 2018-19 season under a new head coach.

Myers said it was tough to hear that Flynn was leaving after spending so much time with the head coach in his three seasons with the team.

“Looking forward, it’s going to be hard these next couple of weeks, but I think the team and myself will get through,” he said.

Flynn said the squad he leaves behind has been filled with strong talent that can continue to succeed in future seasons.

“We have a good team — well, ‘we’ — Edinboro has a good team coming back,” Flynn said. “It’s just a matter of getting some people in here. Some good people to be around these young guys and coach them, and I think Bruce will do his best to do that. So I think they’ll do well.”

In the release, Baumgartner said the school will work to continue building on Flynn’s historic success.

“It is our intention to maintain the strong tradition of Edinboro wrestling,” he said in the release. “We have worked very hard through the years to make Edinboro a respected name on the Division I level. We intend to remain there.”

Myers said he believes the program will be able to continue its winning ways, even with a new head coach next season.

“I’m sure Bruce will find another set of coaches that are just as good, if not better,” he said. “I have so much confidence in Bruce.”

The head coach spot at West Virginia opened up after the university announced on March 28 that they would not renew Sammie Henson’s contract for another season. Henson led the Mountaineers to a 4-4 record in the Big 12 and a 6-7 overall record in duals this season.

With the void, West Virginia conducted a speedy national search that led to them offering Flynn the position.

Flynn said the speed coupled with the good opportunity made it easier to decide to leave the university he has called home for 26 years.

“It just happened really fast, and maybe that’s a good thing. Less thinking about it, you know?”

George Schmidt and Christopher Rosato Jr. can be reached at sports.spectator@gmail.com.

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