Virginia Tech wrestling assistant coach Frank Molinaro is stepping down from his position, head coach Tony Robie announced Friday afternoon. The move comes as Molinaro shifts his focus to training for international freestyle competition.
“If you look at the wrestlers winning world and Olympic titles, none of them are in full-time coaching positions,” Robie said. “Frank has the ability to be one of those guys and it makes sense for him to put himself in the best position to make that happen. This move will allow him the flexibility to travel for competition and training, permitting him to focus on what he needs to do to accomplish his wrestling goals.”
Molinaro, 29, is currently the No. 2 wrestler at 65 kilograms on the United States national team. A native of New Jersey, Molinaro attended Penn State, where he was a four-time NCAA All-American and NCAA Champion in 2012.
After his collegiate career, Molinaro began his international competition. He was a member of the 2016 Olympic team and placed fifth in the Rio games. He won the World Cup and Pan American Championships in 2016 as well.
Molinaro joined Virginia Tech in 2017, Robie’s first year at the helm of the Hokies program. The hire gave the Hokies two Olympians on their staff as Jared Frayer competed in the 2012 Olympic games. In addition to their wrestling insight, the high-profile coaches helped bolster the status of the Southeast Regional Training Center in Blacksburg.
With Molinaro’s departure, the staff is down to four coaches: Robie, Frayer, volunteer assistant coach Ty Walz and director of performance Tyler Graff.
The Hokies will be back in action for their next dual on Wednesday Dec. 19 at West Virginia.
Photo Credit: Dave Knachel/Virginia Tech Athletics