Email Sean Gray at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sean Gray, the former associate head coach at Boston University, will enter his third year on the coaching staff at Princeton for the 2013-14 season.
Gray helped make an immediate impact at Princeton during his first season. The Tigers sent three wrestlers to the NCAA Championships, including senior Daniel Kolodzik, who won two championship-round matches and barely missed All-America honors. Garrett Frey reached the EIWA final at 125, while Adam Krop rose to the Top 15 in the national rankings and placed third at the Midlands Championships.
Last season, injuries ravaged the Princeton staff, but Gray helped develop a pair of upperweights into EIWA placewinners. Junior Ryan Callahan upset the 13th-ranked wrestler in the nation on his way to placing sixth, while freshman Scott Gibbons recorded a team-best 23 victories, the second-most for a Princeton freshman in more than a decade.
"Sean is an amazing addition to our staff," Ayres said. "His experiences as the associate head coach for B.U., combined with his stellar wrestling career at Virginia Tech led me to believe he will have an immediate impact on our program, both inside and outside the wrestling room."
Gray, a two-time All-America wrestler at Virginia Tech, spent seven seasons with the Terriers and helped the program qualify six wrestlers to the NCAA Championships over the last two seasons. Last season, Boston University won five matches at nationals, including one upset over a Top-10 opponent, and earned its best NCAA finish since 1997. One year earlier, Gray helped Freddy Santaite reach the NCAA quarterfinal; the journey included an upset victory over defending national champion Troy Nickerson of Cornell.
"I come to a hungry and electric Princeton Wrestling program with tremendous excitement," Gray said. "I want to my express my most sincere and gracious thanks to Chris Ayers and the Princeton administration for an incredible opportunity for me and my family. I'm excited to come home and coach for one of the most prestigious and on-the-rise programs in Division I wrestling."
Gray was more than just a mat coach at Boston University. He worked with all phases of the program, including recruiting, scheduling, fund-raising, travel planning and several other aspects that make up a successful program. After six years as the assistant coach, he was promoted to associate head coach during the 2010-11 season.
"Coach Ayres and I share the same fire, passion, and energy for coaching extraordinary student-athletes," Gray said. "The environment we will create for the development of student-athletes will be incredible and second to none. I look forward to coming in and making an immediate impact. I absolutely can't wait to get to work right away."
Gray also had a standout undergraduate career, and he graduated as the all-time Virginia Tech leader in wins (133), winning percentage (.850), pins (45), and pins in a single season (15). The 1998 CAA Rookie of the Year, Gray placed sixth at NCAAs as a junior and seventh as a sophomore.
He was also a three-time Eastern Wrestling League champion, and finished his collegiate career undefeated in conference dual-meet competition. Gray was inducted into the EWL Hall of Fame on March 4, 2007.
In 1999, Gray won the FILA Junior National Freestyle Championship and wrestled to a sixth-place finish at 138 pounds at the Junior World Championship in Sydney, Australia.
Gray was also recognized for his work in the classroom, as he earned the Virginia Tech Wrestling Academic Achievement Award after posting a 4.0 grade point average as a senior. The Blacksburg (Va.) Sports Club named Gray the Outstanding Male Athlete at Virginia Tech for 2001.
Gray's wrestling accolades started in high school, where he was a three-time Prep National Champion for Blair Academy of New Jersey. He was also the first person in New Jersey history to win a Cadet Freestyle National Championship. Gray earned a Master's of Education degree with a specialization in physical education and coaching from BU in 2010. He graduated with an impressive 3.83 grade-point average.
Beyond his work in collegiate wrestling, Gray has also gotten involved in MMA/UFC. He was a wrestling coach/corner coach for the recently retired Kenny Florian.
Gray and his wife Jessica have a daughter, Makayla.