Undefeated junior captain working through 2011-12 season one goal at a time
In five seasons as an assistant coach at Northwestern, two-time All-American wrestler Matt Storniolo has made an immediate and significant impact NU's success on the mat, particularly at the middle weights.
Beginning with his arrival prior to the start of the 2009-10 season, Storniolo worked closely with Northwestern's starters at 149 and 157 pounds, Andrew Nadhir and Jason Welch. His mentorship paid dividends at the NCAA Championships in 2011, when both Nadhir and Welch wrestled above their pre-tournament seeding and placed sixth at their respective weight classes to become first-time All-Americans. Welch's run included a win in the quarterfinals over the No. 1 seed and previously undefeated Adam Hall of Boise State, while Nadhir responded after dropping his first match to claim five consecutive wrestleback wins and a spot on the podium.
Those strong efforts were part of Northwestern's 13th-place finish at the national meet, capping off a season in which the 'Cats finished 18-2 in dual meets with a 6-2 mark in Big Ten Conference action.
In 2011-12, Storniolo helped guide Northwestern to a ninth-place finish at NCAA's, the Wildcats' first top-10 placement since 2007. Welch once again found the medal stand, placing fourth at 157 lbs. Storniolo worked extensively with Welch throughout his junior season, helping him amass a 27-3 record (was 23-0 at one point) and win 16 of his matches with bonus points.
The trend continued in 2012-13 as Welch capped his career as a national finalist at 157 and three-time All-American. Welch finished runner-up at 157 in 2013, bettering his placement at NCAA's each year (sixth, fourth, second). Storniolo also worked closely with two-time NCAA qualifier, Pierce Harger.
During the 2013-14 season, Storniolo worked extensively with Jason Tsirtsis, who won the 149 lbs. NCAA title as a redshirt freshman and the 'Cats finished No. 9 in the nation, NU's second top 10 finish in the last three seasons.
Prior to coming to Northwestern, Storniolo spent two seasons as a volunteer assistant at Old Dominion where he trained closely with Ryan Williams, the 2009 NCAA runner-up at 141 pounds.
Storniolo began his college wrestling career at Penn State, reaching the finals of the Big Ten Championships on his way to winning the conference's Freshman of the Year honors. After transferring to Oklahoma, Storniolo reached the Big XII Tournament finals each of the next three years, claiming the league championship as a senior in 2007.
A four-time qualifier for the NCAA Championships, Storniolo earned his first All-American honor by placing seventh as a sophomore before improving to a fourth-place finish as a junior. In his senior campaign, he entered the tournament as the second-ranked wrestler in the nation.
Before college, Storniolo wrestled to an undefeated senior year at State College Area High School in Pennsylvania en route to a state championship. He was also named a high school All-American.
Storniolo graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Science degree in human relations.