Breaking: Rutgers Head Coach Lands Job With Another Team

Donny Pritzlaff, who has served as the associate head coach at Rutgers University for the past decade, has been appointed as the Andrew F. Barth Head Coach of Wrestling at Columbia University, announced today by Campbell Family Director of Athletics Peter Pilling.

“Donny’s track record is impressive, and we are thrilled to welcome him and his family to Columbia,” Pilling said. “He has contributed to some of the nation’s top programs, recruited outstanding student-athletes, and achieved success at every stop. We believe he is the ideal leader for our program as we embark on a new chapter of Ivy League wrestling.”

A two-time national champion and world medalist, Pritzlaff brings 22 years of NCAA Division I coaching experience to Morningside Heights. He played a key role in elevating the Scarlet Knights to prominence in collegiate wrestling.

“I am incredibly grateful and excited for the chance to lead Columbia Wrestling,” said Pritzlaff. “I want to thank Peter Pilling, the entire Columbia Athletic Department, and the New York City Regional Training Center for their trust in me. Over the past 22 years, I’ve worked with exceptional student-athletes and top coaches in the United States. I plan to leverage my experiences and all the resources at Columbia University to inspire students and develop champions.”

During his tenure at Rutgers, the Scarlet Knights celebrated two individual NCAA champions, five individual Big Ten titles, 18 All-Americans, 66 NCAA qualifiers, and 44 Big Ten place winners. The team achieved 110 dual victories, including 34 in the Big Ten Conference.

Pritzlaff coached three NCAA Championship matches and two NCAA title wins, with Anthony Ashnault (149) and Nick Suriano (133) earning the first individual NCAA titles in Rutgers’ history at the 2019 NCAA Championships. Rutgers also enjoyed seven consecutive seasons with multiple All-Americans at the NCAAs.

Under Pritzlaff’s guidance, Rutgers reached several milestones, ending the 2021-22 dual season with 16 wins—the most since 2012-13—and securing its highest final ranking in the NWCA Coaches Poll (14th) since 2017. The Scarlet Knights qualified seven wrestlers for the 2022 NCAA Championships, the most since 2017, with all participants scoring at the national tournament.

Pritzlaff played a significant role in Rutgers’ recruitment efforts, helping the team attract highly ranked incoming classes.


Donny Pritzlaff leaving Rutgers wrestling for head coaching opportunity -


At Michigan, he mentored four All-Americans and worked closely with Kellen Russell, who won his second NCAA title and fourth Big Ten title in 2012, becoming the 11th four-time Big Ten Champion in history. In 2014, two Wolverine wrestlers reached the national podium, contributing to Michigan’s 17th-place finish at the NCAAs.

Before joining Michigan, Pritzlaff spent five seasons as an assistant coach at Wisconsin (2007-11), including two years as associate head coach. He helped the Badgers achieve top-10 team finishes at the NCAA Championships in three consecutive seasons, including a fourth-place finish in 2010.

At Wisconsin, Pritzlaff developed notable middleweight wrestlers such as NCAA champion and three-time All-American Andrew Howe, NCAA finalist Craig Henning, and All-Americans Tyler Turner, Zach Tanelli (former Columbia head coach), and Kyle Ruschell. During his time, 36 Badgers qualified for the NCAA Championships, including 15 All-Americans, five Big Ten Champions, and 19 Academic All-Big Ten members.

As Wisconsin’s recruiting coordinator, Pritzlaff helped secure three top-20 recruiting classes, including the nation’s No. 2 class in 2008 and No. 4 class in 2011.

Pritzlaff began his coaching career at Hofstra University (2004-06), where he guided the team to three Colonial Athletic Association titles and an 11th-place finish at the 2006 NCAA Championships.

As a collegiate wrestler at Wisconsin (1998-2001), Pritzlaff was a two-time NCAA 165-pound champion and a four-time NCAA All-American. He earned three consecutive Big Ten titles (1999-2001) and finished his career with a 135-15 record, ranking fourth among Wisconsin’s all-time winningest wrestlers. Pritzlaff was inducted into the University of Wisconsin Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010.

Internationally, Pritzlaff had a successful eight-year career in the 74 kg/163-pound freestyle division, winning a bronze medal at the 2006 World Championships and earning medals at various prestigious tournaments.

Pritzlaff graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and later earned a Master’s Degree in Applied Psychology from Rutgers in 2022. He and his wife, Robin, have two daughters, Adalena and Onaliese.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.