Clovis native Alex Tirapelle named Penn wrestling coach

Alex Tirapelle, a three-time state champion for Clovis High, was named the wrestling coach at the University of Pennsylvania on Monday.

Tirapelle, 31, becomes the 19th coach in program history as he replaces Rob Eiter, who resigned in May.

Tirapelle arrives at Penn after four seasons as an assistant at Stanford, where he helped guide the Cardinal to the program's best dual-meet record in school history at 17-5 last season while preparing five NCAA Championships qualifiers.

He also spent two seasons as an assistant at UC Davis and seven seasons as a student athlete, graduate student and member of the academic advising staff at Illinois, where he was a two-time All-American and the 2004 Big Ten Wrestler of the Year.

"It is an honor to have the opportunity to advance the already exceptional legacy of Penn Wrestling," Tirapelle said in a news release. "In addition to Olympic medalists, NCAA champions and NCAA All-Americans, Penn Wrestling produces outstanding citizens and some of the country's most prominent leaders.

"While wrestling success will always be a primary goal of the Penn program, for our student-athletes it is a milestone accomplishment rather than their pinnacle achievement."

Tirapelle is the son of Clovis co-coach Steve Tirapelle and brother of Cougars assistant Adam Tirapelle and Buchanan coach Troy Tirapelle.