NCAA All-Americans Pariano Coached at Northwestern:
2005: Jake Herbert (174)
2006: Jake Herbert (174), Ryan Lang (141), John Velez (125)
2007: Dustin Fox (Hwt.), Jake Herbert (184), Ryan Lang (141), Mike Tamilow (197)
2008: Dustin Fox (Hwt.), Brandon Precin (125)
2009: Jake Herbert (184), Brandon Precin (125)
2011: Andrew Nadhir (149), Brandon Precin (125), Jason Welch (157) 2012: Mike McMullan (Hwt.), Jason Welch (157)
2013: Mike McMullan (NCAA Finalist; Hwt.), Jason Welch (NCAA Finalist; 157)
Drew Pariano officially assumed the position of Northwestern head coach on June 1, 2010, succeeding his college coach, Tim Cysewski, who oversaw the program for more than 20 seasons. Pariano has been an integral part of the Northwestern program for 11 years, wrestling for the Wildcats from 1995-99, returning as an assistant coach in 2005 and then elevated to associate head coach prior to replacing Cysewski in 2010.
In his third season at Northwestern, Pariano guided two Wildcats to the biggest stage in wrestling, the NCAA finals. Mike McMullan (285) and Jason Welch (157) were both national finalists in their respective weight classes and earned All-America status. Pariano has secured at least two All-Americans in each of his three years as head coach at Northwestern. Northwestern was just one of four teams at the 2013 NCAA Championships to advance at least two wrestlers to the finals.
As a team, six Wildcats qualified for the 2013 NCAA Wrestling Championships and the team finished 17th, securing the program's eighth top-20 finish at NCAA's in the last nine years. Pariano also guided Welch, a three-time All-American, to the top of the podium at the 2013 Big Ten Championships. Welch was the first 157 lbs. wrestler in program history to win a Big Ten title and the first Big Ten champion with Pariano at the helm.
During the 2011-12 campaign, his second season as head coach, Pariano led the Wildcats to a ninth-place finish at the 2012 NCAA Championships, the team's first top-10 placement since 2007. Six Wildcats qualified for NCAA's, which was tied for the second-highest total in school history. Two NU wrestlers stood on the podium as All-Americans as Jason Welch (157) won his second honor and redshirt freshman heavyweight Mike McMullan placed third while competing at his first national tournament. McMullan was the highest-placing freshman for NU since Jake Herbert, a four-time All-American and two-time NCAA champion, finished third at 174 lbs. in 2005.
The 'Cats put on a show at their own tournament at Welsh-Ryan Arena, the Midlands Championships, crowning two champions and placing second, the best finish for NU in the 49-year history of the tournament. Welch and redshirt freshman Lee Munster both became first-time Midlands champions and five Wildcats placed in the top eight.
Pariano led his alma mater to one of the most successful seasons in NU wrestling history during his inaugural year at the helm in 2010-11. Under Pariano's leadership, the 2011 Wildcats posted an 18-2 dual record with a 6-2 Big Ten mark and a final national dual ranking of No. 14. Better still is that Pariano's wrestlers peaked in the postseason as NU qualified five to the NCAA Championships and saw three of them reach All-American status, landing the 'Cats in a tie for 13th place at the event.
Over the course of the 2011 campaign, Northwestern defeated four top-25 opponents and recorded its best Big Ten record since 1987. In recognition of his team's accomplishments, Pariano was tabbed college wrestling's Rookie Head Coach of the Year by Amateur Wrestling Newsfollowing the season.
Throughout his five stellar years as an assistant and associate head coach and into his head coaching career, Pariano has been a driving force in Northwestern regaining its place as one of the top programs in the country. Since arriving on staff at NU, the 2008 NWCA Assistant Coach of the Year has coached 35 NCAA qualifiers, nine different wrestlers to 17 All-America honors, six Big Ten champions and three NCAA champions -- including Hodge Trophy winner, two-time U.S. Open champion and U.S. Olympian Jake Herbert.
Off the mat, Pariano has been instrumental in assembling several of the most highly touted recruiting classes Northwestern has seen in the past two decades. He took the lead in recruiting two-time Illinois state champion Brandon Precin from Chicago's Sandburg High School in 2006 -- coaching the three-time All-American Precin to two third-place national finishes at 125 pounds -- and in 2008 he helped NU sign Jason Welch -- a three-time NU All-American and 2013 NCAA finalist -- the Junior Dan Hodge Trophy winner as the nation's best prep wrestler. He also signed one of the top recruits in the country in 2012, four-time Indiana state champion, Jason Tsirtsis.
Additionally, Northwestern's 2010 freshman class drew recognition as the No. 3 recruiting class in the nation by InterMat and DIcollegewrestling.net, with five InterMat top-100 prospects including two respective No. 1's at their weight classes.
Pariano's first season on staff in Evanston (2005-06) put Northwestern wrestling back on the national map as the Wildcats qualified a program-best seven wrestlers to the NCAA Championships. That season only laid the foundation for what was to come in 2007 as Northwestern entered six competitors into the tournament, placed four All-Americans and tied a program-best with its fourth-place national finish as a team.
Since joining the Northwestern coaching staff, Pariano has gained a wealth of coaching experience at the national level, a trend that continued in 2011 when Pariano was named head coach of the freestyle team competing at the FILA Cadet Pan American Championships in Campeche, Mexico. Previously, Pariano served as the director of the University and FILA Cadet National Championships in 2005. In addition, he was named the head coach for the Ohio Junior National dual meet team which placed third nationally.
Pariano also was responsible for taking the Northwestern Wrestling Camps on the road for the first time in program history. The annual camp is held at Lake Catholic High School in Mentor, Ohio, as well as Pariano's alma mater, Fairview Park High School.
Pariano came to Evanston from Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, where he served as head wrestling coach for two seasons. While at Cornell, Pariano compiled two talented recruiting classes, with three of his freshmen from the 2004-05 season winning more than 25 matches.
Before working at Cornell, Pariano worked as an assistant wrestling coach at John Carroll University. He helped the Blue Streaks win two Ohio Athletic Conference titles and place in the top 25 of the NCAA Division III Championships three times.
As a competitor, Pariano was a three-time NCAA qualifier and four-year starter for the Wildcats. He qualified for the NCAA Championships in 1997 and 1998 at 150 pounds and in 1999 at 165 pounds. He earned Academic All-Big Ten and Academic All-American honors, and was a Midlands Tournament placewinner.
In high school, Pariano was a three-time Ohio state champion and two-time outstanding wrestler at the state meet.
Pariano received a bachelor's degree in education and social policy from Northwestern in 2000 and a master's degree in communication management from John Carroll in 2003.
"Drew's enthusiasm for wrestling and recruiting helped maintain our tradition of excellence in wrestling, and helped elevate him into his first collegiate head coaching experience at Cornell College in Iowa. I am excited about his elevation to the head job at Northwestern. I am sure he will continue to be a blessing to your program as he was to ours."
-Kerry Volkmann, Hall of Fame coach at John Carroll University
"To Drew there is no offseason or end of the day because he is constantly coaching and working to improve the program at Northwestern. He knows that to be a successful wrestler you need to live the lifestyle on and off the mat. Drew embodies that idea and he will not rest until NU is the best wrestling program for years to come."
-Jake Herbert, Northwestern two-time NCAA champion, Hodge Trophy winner and USA World Team member