March 20, 2012
COLUMBIA, Mo. - After three years on the wrestling staff, assistant coach Matt Pell has declared that he will relinquish his position, as announced by head coach Brian Smith on Tuesday afternoon. Pell is stepping down to spend more time with his family, as he and his wife Melissa had their first child last summer.
"I just want to thank Coach Smith, the administration and my athletes for affording me the opportunity to be a part of a program that has accomplished so much over the last three years," said Pell. "The memories I have made as a coach at the University of Missouri will be held dear to my heart for the rest of my life."
A four year starter on Missouri's wrestling squad, Pell first earned All-American honors as a sophomore in 2005 while competing at 184 pounds. The Tiger team captain became just the third Missouri wrestler in program history to earn All-American accolades in more than one weight class, managing a third place finish at the 2007 Championships in the 165 pound weight class. In addition to his second top-eight NCAA finish, Pell was presented with the Gorarrian Award after recording the most pins in the least amount of time at the NCAA Championships held in St. Louis. Pell's third place finish helped Missouri to its best squad showing in program history, third. The four-time NCAA qualifier completed his career with 122 wins, good enough for sixth best in program history.
After receiving his bachelor's degree from Mizzou in May of 2007, Pell left the Midwest and worked as an assistant coach for the University of Virginia (UVA) wrestling squad. In his two years on staff, Pell helped coach five Cavaliers to Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Championship titles, and one grappler, Chris Henrich, to UVA's first All-America honor in five years.
"Matt has been a part of this program for a long time, and he'll continue to be a Tiger even after he leaves," said Smith. "He was an All-American here, a captain here, an assistant coach here. He's left a big mark on our program. He's a great friend and I appreciate everything he's done for Missouri wrestling."