UB Wrestling Hires Matt Lackey as New Head Assistant Coach
BUFFALO, NY - Buffalo head wrestling coach Jim Beichner has announced the hiring of new head assistant coach Matt Lackey, a former NCAA national champion. Lackey will be assuming the role immediately after spending two seasons as an assistant at Lock Haven University.
"I've had the privilege to know Matt for many years and I am confident that he is a great fit for our staff and our wrestlers," Beichner said.
As a collegiate wrestler for the University of Illinois, Lackey was a 2003 national champion among his three trips to the All-American podium. He was also named the Big Ten Male Athlete of the Year for his efforts on the mat. On an international level, Lackey is a two-time Olympic Trial qualifier and finished fourth at the 2008 U.S. Senior Nationals.
His career of success started all the way back in high school, where he won two high school state titles in Illinois out of his home town of Moline. While at the University of Illinois, he wrote his name throughout the program's record book. He sits seventh in career wins (120), and has the best single-season winning percentage after finishing 38-0 in his senior season; his career record of 120-14 (.896) is also good for best career winning percentage.
"I welcome the opportunity to work for and learn from Jim (Beichner). We have mutual respect and we'll fit well together," Lackey said. "My credentials as an athlete prove that I have a lot of knowledge that I'm ready to share with these students."
Lackey's winning pedigree will fit in well with the current Buffalo staff. Assistant Ricky Deubel, a three-time national qualifier returns for his second season and fellow assistant Jeff Catrabone will start his seventh year with the program this winter. Catrabone also offers Big Ten experience after earning All-American status for three seasons and 160 wins while at Michigan.
"What Coach Beichner has done has been phenomenal and I'm excited to improve upon what he's already done," Lackey said. "With all the support from the administration, the great recruiting class coming in and the new renovations, the sky is the limit for this program."
Joining Matt in Buffalo will be his girlfriend Elisa and their two daughters, Payton and Anna.
"This is an exciting time for UB wrestling and Coach Lackey will surely help our program take the next step at the national level," Beichner said. "I would like to welcome Matt and his family to UB."