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Pitt wrestling coach Keith Gavin talks facilities, assistants, and a regional training center

Photo used with permission of the Pittsburgh Panthers athletics department (

In case you missed it, Pitt wrestling coach Keith Gavin had a pretty good media interview a few days ago after the announcement of the program hosting the 2019 wrestling championships. Gavin spoke at length about a great many subjects and you can hear the full interview here.

One thing that Gavin was asked about was the wrestling facilities and if the program was planning upgrades. You might remember that this was something that came up quite a bit when fans were wondering if Pat Santoro could be lured here. Gavin's response? While there are some plans to upgrade the Field House that it wasn't likely going to be anytime soon. He also said that while there would be some upgrades to the wrestling room, it didn't sound like a major overhaul by any means:

"I think we're going to dress up the wrestling room ... put some graphics on the wall, maybe some new mats, things like that," Gavin said.

Wholesale upgrades to facilities, in other words, don't seem to be happening anytime soon.

Another thing Gavin talked about was that building his staff was the top priority. He didn't indicate that assistants Matt Kocher and Drew Headlee would be back and, while they may be candidates, Gavin appears to be at least looking elsewhere.

Gavin also called Pitt his dream job and also a career goal. One of the things I liked about Santoro was that he was a guy that could potentially finish his career here. And while Gavin doesn't have his experience or success since this is his first head coaching job, if he's successful, it's hard to imagine him wanting to go elsewhere.

Finally, one thing that will be music to the ears of wrestling fans is that Gavin plans to establish a regional training center. As he discussed, that's something a lot of top programs have and it allows you to host guys that are training for events such as world championships or the Olympics. The draw is that they are at your facilities, training your wrestlers, etc. Gavin added that 'you can't really win without one.' He also said that he would have loved to stay here and do that after his wrestling career but that it wasn't possible since that wasn't established here.

I'll say this. As I wrote before, I think that Pitt would have been better off with attracting a proven head coach here and getting a guy that has had experience. But I'll also say that, after listening to the interview, I'm a little more sold on Gavin than I was before. He's young and inexperienced, sure. But he also has a good idea of what it will take to win and be successful here. I get the sense that he knows what he needs and that the real issue will be if Pitt's athletics department is willing to commit to that in terms of providing resources, etc.

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