Philadelphia - Drexel Athletics Director Dr. Eric Zillmer has announced the hiring of Matt Azevedo as the University's next wrestling head coach. Azevedo comes to Drexel after a successful coaching career at Cornell University and Cal Poly. He is the eighth head coach in the school's history and replaces Jack Childs, who retired after 35 seasons at Drexel.
"We are thrilled to introduce Matt as our next wrestling coach," Senior Associate Athletic Director Nick Gannon said. "Matt is a rising star who understands the big picture of a coach's role in collegiate athletics. With his energy, reputation and character, he will continue to build on the history of Drexel's wrestling program. Our staff is equally excited to welcome Matt and his wife, Brooke, into the Drexel Athletics' family."
"I want to thank the Drexel athletics department especially Dr. Eric Zillmer and Nick Gannon for giving me this opportunity," said Azevedo. "I want to thank the Cornell coaching staff and athletics department as well. They helped to propel me to a place where I can now take advantage of such a great opportunity. Also, I want to thank my wife, Brooke, and my parents, for all of their support."
While at Cornell, Azevedo helped the Big Red earn nine All-America honors, nine EIWA champions and seven Academic All-Americans. He also guided the team to back-to-back second-place finishes at the NCAA championships, which marked the best performance in school history. "Matt has been a phenomenal asset to our program and he will be dearly missed," Cornell Head Wrestling Coach Robert Koll said. "He will be a tenacious recruiter, intelligent coach and an exceptional ambassador for Drexel University. I can say, with no hesitation, that he is one of the finest coaches that I have ever had at Cornell University."
Prior to his time at Cornell, Azevedo spent seven seasons as an assistant coach at Cal Poly, where he coached seven All-Americans and eight Pac-10 champions. He also helped guide Cal Poly to its highest finish in school history at the Pac-10 championships by placing second in 2004 and 2006.
Azevedo wrestled collegiately at Arizona State and Iowa State, each for two seasons. He advanced to the NCAA Tournament in three of his four seasons. Azvedo graduated with an education degree from Iowa State in 2002. He continued his wrestling career after graduation and went on to be a seven-time U.S. National place winner and won the 2008 U.S. Open National Championship.
"I'm looking forward to getting to work with the guys on the team," Azevado said. "They are a good group of guys with a good nucleus and I'm eager to get to work with them. I'm excited about the energy coming from the athletic department. Everyone seems excited about where Drexel athletics is going and I feel there is a lot of support from the department, which will help us reach new heights with the Drexel wrestling program."