Al Russomano completed his 13th season as the Royals' head coach in 2018-19, and has provided a wealth of experience as both a coach and competitor to The University of Scranton wrestling program.
In the 2018-19 season 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. Junior Keegan 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, Russamano 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 the 2016-17, Russomano led the Royals to a 15-4 record, the most wins in a single season in program history. Scranton won its first 12 matches and set the school record with its 14th win of the season on Jan. 29, defeating Penn College of Technology, 38-12. 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 are also a program-best since 2004-05. Russomano also moved into second place on the school's all-time coaching victories list.
One of the highlights of Russomano's coaching tenure came in March 2007 when he escorted senior Donell Young to the NCAA Division III championships in Duqubue, 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), Dan D'Agostini (3rd, 108 victories), and Keegan Connelly (5th, 84 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 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 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.
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|