Story first appeared on edinboronow.com and in the Edinboro University Spectator on Sept. 10, 2015.
Losing the famed “Murderer’s Row” from its lineup hurt Edinboro wrestling. However, not all the members of that tough foursome are gone.
Mitchell Port, one of the more well-known members of the group, is returning to the Boro wrestling program as a volunteer coach, just months after wrapping up his storied wrestling career and graduating with a degree in individualized studies. The move was announced by Director of Athletics Bruce Baumgartner in early July.
Following graduation, Port wanted to get into coaching, preferably at the collegiate level. His resume certainly speaks for itself as the Bellefonte, Pennsylvania native was 132-17 overall in his career, notched 35 career falls and finished in the top-three at nationals three times, competing at 141 lbs.
Port’s former head coach, now boss, Tim Flynn, knows how much of an asset the three-time All-American is to his staff. “We’re ecstatic,” Flynn said about adding Port. “We haven’t had a volunteer in a couple years. To get one of that caliber is outstanding. He wanted to stay and we wanted him. What better fit could you find? We have a young team. To be able to learn from one of our greatest wrestlers ever, particularly with his work ethic, will be of great benefit to our wrestlers. It’s just an all-around great fit.”
According to Port, coaching has been his plan from the beginning and Flynn wanted to get him before anyone else could. “Flynn brought it up to me towards the end of the season and I was really excited,” Port said via a text message. “After the season we met and talked about it more. I want coaching to be my career and I felt this step is the best for my future.”
The future of Edinboro wrestling looks bright, with Port on the coaching staff and a top 15 ranked recruiting class for the upcoming season. He is looking forward to working with them all. “It’s awesome to be able to coach at the same school I graduated from,” he said. “The guys coming in will have similar goals and ideas that I did when I was incoming. I’ll have to adjust to a whole new aspect of the sport, but the coaches here will help me along with that.”
Port is not the only member of “Murderer’s Row” to land a coaching gig for the upcoming season. Edinboro’s all-time pins leader, A.J. Schopp, who competed at 133 lbs., was hired as an assistant at South Dakota State back in the spring and began in June.