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Muhlenberg College

Monday, March 16, 2009

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schleicher retires as wrestling coach

Tom Schleicher has announced his retirement as head wrestling coach at Muhlenberg College after an impressive 13-year tenure.

Schleicher is the winningest coach in Mule wrestling history with a Tom Schleicher record of 108-113-1. During his time as head coach, Muhlenberg won a Centennial Conference dual-meet title, finished second at the CC championship meet three times and crowned the first six All-Americans in program history. Schleicher coached 26 CC champions, including two who were named Most Outstanding Wrestler of the CC Championships.

When Schleicher arrived in 1997, he was Muhlenberg’s fifth different head coach in five years. That first team had only six competitors, but he brought stability to the program and built it up to new heights.

Muhlenberg sent 25 wrestlers to the NCAA Championships the last 11 years, with six earning All-America status, including Rob Kein earlier this month. In 2004-05, Matt Loesch finished a program-best fourth place at nationals; he went on to become the Mules’ first two-time (and then three-time) All-American and was ranked No. 1 in Division III at his weight class in 2006.

Muhlenberg tied a program record by qualifying four wrestlers for nationals in 2006-07, and Schleicher was nominated by his colleagues in the CC for coach of the year.

The Mules won a school-record 17 dual matches in both 2000-01 and 2001-02. In 2001, the Mules won the CC dual-meet championship and qualified four wrestlers for the NCAA Championships.

Schleicher also initiated the “Take Down Cancer” campaign, which raised more than $27,000 for the American Cancer Society.

Before coming to Muhlenberg, Schleicher coached for the previous six seasons at nearby Emmaus High School, where he turned a District XI doormat into a three-time Allentown School District Team Tournament champion. He also resurrected the program at Upper Perkiomen (Pa.) High School in the 1970s, earning coach of the year honors in 1977. Scholastically, Schleicher had an overall record of 176-158-3, coached three individual state champions and led his teams to two league championships and one district title.

Schleicher is a 1967 graduate of the University of Maryland, where he won an Atlantic Coast Conference title at 115 pounds and qualified for the NCAA Championships in 1964.

Muhlenberg will conduct an immediate search for a replacement.

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