JIM ANDRASSY | HEAD COACH
Jim Andrassy has put Kent State wrestling into the national spotlight and kept it there. Andrassy has been a part of KSU's program for 26 seasons, including the last 13 as head coach.
In each of the last nine seasons, the Golden Flashes have sent five or more qualifiers to the NCAA Championships. In eight of those nine seasons, Kent State finished in the top two spots of the Mid-American Conference standings and compiled a 109-37-1 dual meet record during an eight-year run. Named Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year in 2009, Andrassy has helped produce seven All-American performances from five different wrestlers including a 2011 national champion (Dustin Kilgore) and three NCAA top 25 team finishes.
In 2012, Kent State sent a program-record seven wrestlers to the NCAA Championships and won the Mid-American Conference regular season title with a 5-0 mark in conference duals. The Flashes were ranked No. 13 in the final NWCA Coaches Poll and won a Virginia Duals title.
One year earlier, the Golden Flashes totaled six NCAA qualifiers and their 17th place finish at the NCAA Championships was the highest since 1985. KSU earned a share of the MAC regular season title in 2011 and placed third at the Virgnia Duals with a victory over No. 8 Lehigh in the consolation final. The Flashes were ranked No. 17 in the final NWCA Coaches Poll.
Andrassy's 2009-10 squad earned a No. 16 ranking in the final 2010 NWCA Coaches Poll, proving just how far the program had come since his first season, (2003-04) when the Flashes tied for last place at the MAC Tournament. While facing a number of nationally ranked opponents, KSU finished 15-4 in dual meets and captured the school's first Body Bar Invitational title.
In 2008-09, KSU won the MAC regular season title by going 5-0 in conference duals, carrying an overall mark of 13-4. The Flashes claimed four individual MAC championships and finished runner-up at the MAC Tournament. KSU sent a school record six wrestlers to the NCAA Championships that season, all of whom won at least two matches as KSU tied for 18th place, its highest finish since 1985.
During Andrassy's 11 years as head coach, the Golden Flashes have gone 134-77-1 in dual meets. KSU has also finished second at MAC Tournament in seven straight years. During the last nine years under Andrassy's watch, Kent State's list of 100-win wrestlers has grown from four to 14.
"We were a team that traditionally took 1-3 guys to nationals when I was an assistant and now we're consistently taking 5-6 guys every year," Andrassy said of the program's recent history.
During his tenure on the staff, Andrassy helped bring in some of the nation's top recruiting classes, including a national top 10 class in 2007 and a top 20 class in 2008.
"People on the outside think more of the program now," Andrassy said. "Our schedule's gotten tougher. And because of all that, we've been able to recruit better kids. We had done well in the past in dual meets, but it was a different type of schedule. If you look at our schedules in recent years, it's been one of the toughest in the country. That's helped us get ranked nationally the last five years."
Prior to being named the head coach in 2003, Andrassy was an assistant coach for the Golden Flashes for the previous nine seasons - the last six as a full-time assistant - after earning four letters and a MAC individual title as a wrestler from 1991-94. He replaced Frank Romano who retired following seven seasons as head coach.
Following his collegiate career, Andrassy joined the Kent State wrestling staff as a student assistant for one year while finishing his degree, then spent another year as a volunteer coach and a third as a graduate assistant prior to being elevated to a full-time assistant in 1997.
Andrassy is just the sixth head coach in the 82-year history of Kent State wrestling, joining A.S. Roberts (1927-29), Joe Tabor (1942-43), Joe Begala (1929-42, '45-71), Ron Gray (1971-96) and Romano (1996-2003).
As a wrestler at Kent State, Andrassy posted a career record of 106-25-1. He is one of just two KSU wrestlers to reach 100 victories in only four seasons. He was 26-6 his junior season en route to a MAC championship at 158 pounds and finished 27-7 as a senior, earning one of the MAC's wildcard bids to the NCAA Championships. At the national meet, he won two of his four matches and finished one victory away from All-America status.
Andrassy earned a bachelor's degree in rhetoric and communications from Kent State in 1995 and a master's in sport management in 2002. Since 2000, he has served as a part-time instructor in KSU's physical education department.
A native of Macedonia, Ohio, Andrassy resides in Stow with his three daughters, Megan, Emily and Ryann.