Virginia Tech Wrestling Names Zach Tanelli Associate Head Coach

Tony Robie added former Columbia head coach Zach Tanelli to his Virginia Tech coaching staff Monday. (Ivan Morozov)

Virginia Tech wrestling named Zach Tanelli as an associate head coach on Monday. He’ll replace departing coach Cody Brewer, who joined Princeton’s program this offseason.

“We could not be more excited to have Zach and his family join the Virginia Tech wrestling family,” Hokies head coach Tony Robie said in the program’s release. “You can’t overstate how great of a job Zach did building a winning culture at Columbia. Getting another coach on staff that has the experience and skill set to excel in every aspect of this job is what we were looking for.

“Zach undoubtedly checks all those boxes. He also brings incredible wrestling knowledge that will help our entire roster, especially our lower weights, accomplish their goals. Zach was the first person we pursued and are grateful that he and his family want to call Blacksburg home. We can’t wait to get to work and continue our pursuit of greatness.”

Tanelli brings a wealth of experience to Robie’s staff, having coached at the Division I level since 2009. He most recently led Columbia’s program as head coach for eight seasons, where he helped the Lions set new records for number EIWA conference wins in a season. They recorded their highest placement at the EIWA championships in his tenure, too.

The Millburn, N.J., native was instrumental in helping Lennox Wolak (174) become the program’s first All-American in 11 years at this season’s NCAA Championships in Kansas City. Wolak will join Tanelli in Blacksburg after transferring to Virginia Tech this offseason.

“My family and I want to thank Coach Robie, Coach Frayer, Coach Haught, and all at Virginia Tech athletics for giving us the opportunity to join their program,” Tanelli said in Tech’s release. “This is a very special place and I’m humbled to be viewed as someone who can add value to their established culture. I’m excited to get to work and see the impact I can make.”

Prior to Columbia, Tanelli was an assistant at Purdue (2014-16) and Hofstra (2009-14). He helped send 11 wrestlers to the NCAAs with the Boilermakers and mentored four All-Americans and 12 conference champions with the Pride.

As a wrestler, he earned All-American status at 141 pounds in 2009 at Wisconsin in his final collegiate season and was a three-time NCAA qualifier. Tanelli ended his collegiate career with an 88-31 record and was ranked No. 1 in his weight class for half of the 2008-09 season.

Virginia Tech confirmed both Tanelli and current associate head coach Jared Frayer, who has been with the Hokies since 2017, will both hold that title in 2024-25.

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  1. Excellent hire by Robie- congrats! I predict even greater things to come from the wrestling team.

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