Wrestling Wins Eight Bouts, Cruises to Road Victory at Stanford
Donny Pritzlaff is in his third season as an assistant coach for the University of Michigan wrestling program. A decorated collegiate and freestyle wrestler, Pritzlaff owns 10 years of collegiate coaching experience at the NCAA Division I level.
Pritzlaff has mentored a pair of Wolverine All-Americans, working closely with Kellen Russell, who captured his second NCAA title and fourth Big Ten title to finish a stellar collegiate career in 2012.
Prior to arriving at Michigan, Pritzlaff served five seasons as an assistant coach at Wisconsin (2007-11) -- the last two as associate head coach -- where he helped revitalize the Badgers' program over his tenure. Wisconsin placed among the top 10 teams at the NCAA Championships in each of the last three seasons, including a fourth-place finish in 2010.
Pritzlaff was instrumental in developing the Badger middleweight wrestlers as a sound technician and competitive training partner. Among the notable performers under his tutelage were NCAA champion and three-time All-American Andrew Howe, NCAA finalist Craig Henning and All-Americans Tyler Turner, Zach Tanelli and Kyle Ruschell.
As Wisconsin's recruiting coordinator, Pritzlaff also oversaw and contributed to the development of the program's future. He helped land three top-20 recruiting classes according to InterMat, including the nation's No. 2 class in 2008 and the No. 4 class in 2011.
Pritzlaff also previously served as an assistant coach at Hofstra University (2004-06) and as a volunteer assistant at Wisconsin (2002-03). While at Hofstra, Pritzlaff worked with three-time All-American Jon Masa and two-time All-Americans Mike Patrovich and Chris Skretkowicz while helping guide the Pride to three straight Colonial Athletic Association titles and an 11th-place NCAA finish in 2006.
As a collegiate wrestler at Wisconsin (1998-2001), Pritzlaff compiled one of the most impressive careers in the program's history. Pritzlaff was a two-time NCAA 165-pound champion (2000, '01) and four-time NCAA All-American, placing fifth as a junior at 165 pounds (1999) and sixth as a freshman at 150 pounds (1998). He became the 12th NCAA champion in Badger program history with a 4-2 sudden-victory decision over Iowa State's Joe Heskett in the championship final. The following season, he again used an overtime takedown to edge Heskett, 3-1, en route to his second straight NCAA crown, becoming Wisconsin's fourth multiple champion and one of just three four-time All-Americans in program history.
A 2001 NWCA All-Star selection, Pritzlaff also claimed three straight Big Ten Conference 165-pound titles (1999-2001). He posted a 135-15 career record, including a 43-1 mark as a senior, to list fourth among Wisconsin's all-time winningest wrestlers, while his .894 career winning percentage ranks third in Badger program history. Pritzlaff was inducted into the University of Wisconsin Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010.
Pritzlaff thrived on the international scene, completing a successful eight-year career in the 74kg/163-pound freestyle division. He captured the bronze medal at the 2006 World Championships and earned medals at the Pan American Championships (silver, 2006), New York Athletic Club Holiday International Open (gold, 2001; silver, 2005; bronze, 2002, '03, '04), Henri Deglane Challenge (bronze, 2002), Dave Schultz Memorial International (gold, 2002, '05) and Sunkist Kids International Open (gold, 2002; silver, 2004). While in college, Pritzlaff captured the 1998 Junior World championship at 70 kg.
A native of Lyndhurst, N.J., Pritzlaff graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2002 with a bachelor's degree in sociology. He and his wife, Robin, have two daughters, Adalena and Onaliese.
THE DONNY PRITZLAFF FILE Born: January 23, 1979 Hometown: Lyndhurst, New Jersey High School: Lyndhurst College: University of Wisconsin, 2002 Bachelor's Degree: Sociology Family: Married, wife Robin; children Adalena and Onaliese
Collegiate Coaching Experience: University of Michigan (Assistant Coach), 2011-present. University of Wisconsin (Associate Head Men's Coach), 2009-11. University of Wisconsin (Assistant Coach), 2006-09. Hofstra University (Assistant Coach), 2004-06. University of Wisconsin (Volunteer Assistant Men's Coach), 2002-03.
Collegiate Wrestling Highlights
Two-time NCAA 165-pound champion (2000, '01) Four-time NCAA All-American (1998, '99, 2000, '01) Three-time Big Ten 165-pound champion (1999, 2000, '01) Career Collegiate Record: 135-15
Freestyle Wrestling Highlights 2006 World Championships bronze medalist (74kg/163 pounds) 2007 World Cup bronze medalist (74kg/163 pounds) 2006 Pan American Championships silver medalist (74kg/163 pounds) Two-time Dave Schultz Memorial International champion (2002, '05) 1998 Junior World gold medalist (70kg/154 pounds)