Wrestling coach Shaun Lally hopes scholarship can help take team to new heights

Stony Brook wrestling head coach Shaun Lally (left) sits with his team back in December at an event at Madison Square Garden.

Stony Brook wrestling head coach Shaun Lally (left) believes participating in the NWCA College Coaches Leadership Academy can help take his program to new levels of accomplishment. (PHOTO CREDIT: STONY BROOK WRESTLING CLUB)

Last year, the Stony Brook wrestling club made some tremendous strides with their program. The squad participated in an event at Madison Square Garden, competed in their first National Duals Tournament and had five wrestlers compete in the NCWA National Tournament.

But head coach Shaun Lally knows there is still work to be done for his still very young program. And this summer, he has been focusing on improving not just his team, but himself as a coach.

Lally was recently the recipient of a scholarship from the NWCA College Coaches Leadership Academy. This will allow him to participate in a program that is intended to help wrestling coaches strengthen what the NWCA refers to as “CEO skills.”

The goal is to help coaches improve their abilities in areas such as marketing, promoting and communicating. The program is also intended to help coaches improve the graduation rates of their athletes.

“Being that I’m a young coach there’s still so much that I need to learn, which you can only learn over time by going through different situations,” Lally said. “But, this program should make me more equipped to deal with those situations, because I’m going to be doing one-on-one mentorships with some of the top coaches in the country.”

While participating in this program, Lally has also been hard at work with recruiting. He says that while recruiting is still difficult at times, he believes that Stony Brook University is quickly becoming a much more viable option for Long Island high school wrestlers to attend.

“Before it was really hard to get guys up to Stony Brook, because they didn’t even know about the program,” he said. “Now everybody is seeing what is happening in such a short amount of time, and some guys wanna be the hometown guy and stay close.”

The third-year head coach believes that if the team can have one of its wrestlers go All American next season, it would be a significant step for the program recruiting wise. The wrestlers who place top eight in the NCWA National Tournament receive All American status.

“We need somebody to be on the podium,” Lally said. “We need somebody to contend for a national championship, because that’s really gonna draw more recruits for the future.”

Another thing Lally has been busy with this summer is getting the word about his club through the use of social media. Stony Brook recently had one of their online promotional videos selected as a finalist for the “Best of Brand” awards in the category of Pure Entertainment.

Only nine videos from wrestling programs around the country were selected. Stony Brook was the only NCWA program to be a finalist in the category.

The Stony Brook wrestling club will begin their 2014-2015 campaign this August when they participate in an event at Hofstra University. Coach Lally believes that the work he has done this summer can help the program make even bigger strides this upcoming season.

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