Pitt wrestling added a big transfer earlier this month when Kellen Stout announced he would transfer from Penn State. Head coach Keith Gavin is at it again, landing another transfer from a major-conference program. This week, it was announced that Micky Phillippi would be transferring from Virginia to come to Pitt.
Phillippi, like Stout, is a local kid. He wrestled at Derry where he won three state championships in high school. Phillippi competed at Virginia this season, where he was 22-7 at open tournaments. He's looking forward to coming 'home.'
"There's no place like home, so I'm really excited to join the Pitt wrestling family," Phillippi said. "The coaching staff are amazing people and I know that they will help me through the process of coming back. I can't wait to compete in the Field House because it will truly be a home match."
Coming out of high school, Phillippi was one of the top wrestling recruits in the country. InterMat had him ranked as the No. 16 overall recruit in the country, according to this page.
A likely factor in getting Phillippi was the program's addition of Jordan Leen as an assistant, which was announced back in May. Leen was an assistant at Virginia last year and helped to coach Phlilippi while there.
Unlike Stout, Phillippi won't be available to the Panthers this season because he's transferring inside of the ACC. That shouldn't be much of a problem, though, since the Panthers return 133-pounder Dom Forys, who will compete for All-American status and is the best wrestler on the team.
Pitt lost Teshan Campbell to a transfer to Ohio State after this season before Gavin arrived. But since his loss, Gavin has been pretty retooling the roster. He hasn't been here long but he and the staff have already been hard at work to improve the roster. It's no secret that the area is a major source of high-quality recruits and the hope is that Gavin can begin to keep more of them home. The additions of Stout and Phillippi could be a good indication that he's capable of selling the program to local kids.