Al Russomano completed his 14th season as the Royals' head coach in 2019-20 and has provided a wealth of experience as both a coach and competitor to The University of Scranton wrestling program.
Already the second longest-tenured head coach in the history of Scranton's wrestling program and the program's leader in career winning percentage (.419), Russomano also ranks in the top 40 in career coaching victories in all of NCAA Division III amongst active coaches, as his 96 career wins are 33rd highest at the conclusion of the 2019-20 season.
Russomano took the Royals to new heights in the 2019-20 season, leading the squad to a record 18 dual meet victories. The Royals broke the previous program record of 15 with a 44-3 win over Alfred State in the Long Center on February 1, 2020.
Scranton went on to finish a program-best ninth at the NCAA Mideast Regionals, as senior Keegan Connelly went on to qualify for the 2020 NCAA Division III Championship at 285 pounds, marking the second straight season a wrestler under Russomano's tutelage qualified for the national championship.
Another first under Russomano capped the season, as Connelly was selected NWCA Third Team All-American, becoming just the third student-athlete to earn the honor and the first since 2003.
Also, five student-athletes were honored for their work in the classroom at the end of the 2019-20 campaign by the NWCA with Scholar All-American honors: Connelly, Aidan McNally, Anthony Clarizio, Jeremiah Oakes, and William Laughlin.
In the 2018-19 season, Russomano led Scranton to an 11-8 record in dual meets and an 11th place team finish at the NCAA Mideast Regional Championships.
Leading the way for the Royals was senior Dan D'Agostini, who became Scranton's first NCAA national championship qualifier since 2007 after finishing as the runner-up at 197 pounds at the regional meet. D'Agostini finished the year with a 39-5 record, setting a program record for wins in a season. Connelly posted a 36-11 mark on the year and finished fifth at 285 pounds at the NCAA Mideast Regional Championships. Both D'Agostini and Connelly also earned NWCA Scholar All-American honors while senior Kevin Merle wrapped up his career second all-time in program history for career pins with 31.
In the 2017-18 campaign, Russomano guided the Royals to a 10-4 record and an 11th place finish at the NCAA Mideast Regional Championship. The Royals also finished first out of nine teams at Washington & Lee's Jim Crytzer Memorial Invitational on January 6 after the team won six of its first eight matches on the season.
During 2016-17, Russomano led the Royals to a 15-4 record, the most wins in a single season in program history (at the time). Scranton won its first 12 matches to open the year, as four Royals earned Scholar All-American honors from the National Wrestling Coaches Association -- senior Ian Evans, junior Zachary D'Apolito, sophomore Daniel D'Agostini, and freshman Keegan Connelly. Evans finished the season with a 32-5 record, giving him 122 career victories, second-most in program history.
In 2015-16, Russomano led the Royals to a 9-9 record, the team's first .500 record since the 2004-05 season. The nine victories were also a program-best since 2004-05. Russomano also moved into second place on the school's all-time coaching victories list.
During Russomano's first season as head coach (2006-07), he escorted eventual Scranton Wall of Fame member Donell Young at the 2007 NCAA Division III championships in Dubuque, Iowa. Young became the 11th wrestler in school history to qualify for the NCAA championships.
Russomano has also coached three of the top-five winningest wrestlers in program history: Ian Evans (2nd, 122 victories), Keegan Connelly (3rd, 118 victories), and Dan D'Agostini (3rd, 108 victories).
Prior to his appointment as head coach, Russomano served as an assistant varsity wrestling coach for nine seasons at nearby Scranton High School, where he helped develop four Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) District II champions and two two-time all-regional selections by The Times-Tribune. He was also on staff when the Knights won the Lackawanna League Division II title in 2000.
Russomano also served as head junior high school and substitute assistant varsity wrestling coach at Elk Lake High School in Dimock, Pa., where the Warriors produced two junior high school individual district champions and were Northern Athletic Conference (NAC) team champions in 1994.
Russomano, a former member of the PIAA Coaches’ Association and current member of the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA), also served as head coach of the Iron Man Wrestling Club of Pennsylvania in Scranton in 1999-2000, where he was voted by the organization’s more than 200 members as its coach of the year at its annual end of the season tournament. He has been a guest clinician at various wrestling clubs and events throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
He learned his craft from Larry Fornicoli, the legendary head coach of the wrestling program at the then Keystone Junior College in nearby LaPlame in the early 1970s. As a competitor, Russomano finished third in the PIAA District II championships at the former Scranton Technical High School and was a two-time Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Eastern National qualifier. He is also a two-time Pennsylvania state power-lifting champion (1972, 1973).
Russomano resides in Scranton. A certified fitness trainer and specialist in exercise therapy by the International Sports & Sciences, he is the owner of Coach's Personal Fitness in nearby Dunmore. Russomano is also the father of two sons: Anthony, a former standout wrestler at Scranton High School and United States Marine Corps veteran who took part in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Al, Jr., also a member of the United States Marine Corps and a former member of the all-Marine International wrestling team.
Overall Record: 96-133 (.419)
NCAA Championship Appearances (3): 2007, 2019 (t-52nd), 2020
NCAA Championship Qualifiers (3): Donell Young (149 Pounds), Dan D'Agostini (197 Pounds), Keegan Connelly (285 Pounds)
NWCA All-Americans (1): Keegan Connelly (2020, Third Team, 285 Pounds)
NWCA Scholar All-Americans (16): Keegan Connelly (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020), Anthony Clarizio (2020) Dan D'Agostini (2017, 2018, 2019), Zachary D’Apolito (2017, 2018), Nicholas DePierro (2018), Ian Evans (2017), William Laughlin (2020), Aidan McNally (2020), Jeremiah Oakes (2020), Kyle Shaffer (2019)
University of Scranton All-Time Coaching Records
|John Hopkins||1968-1987, 1988-1998||29||183-260-4||.413|
|Steve Laidacker||1987-1988, 1998-2002||5||39-59-1||.399|