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Alex Tirapelle Named Associate Head Coach of American University Wrestling

Graphic and release courtesy of American University Sports Information. 

WASHINGTON – Alex Tirapelle has made the move from Stanford to American with head wrestling coach Jason Borrelli, and joins Borrelli’s staff as associate head coach for the program. Tirapelle has past experience in the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) as a three-year head coach at Penn from 2014-17.

“AU Wrestling has added one of the best coaches in the sport to our staff,” said Borrelli. “I am so thrilled to welcome Alex, Amy and their three young children to the AU Wrestling family. Alex leads with integrity, he has a keen eye for identifying talent, his wrestling IQ is through the roof and he is a tireless worker.  All of these qualities have allowed him to maximize the potential of the student-athletes that he has coached, and his track record speaks for itself. As we work to take AU Wrestling to greater heights there is no person I would rather work alongside, and I am eager to get Alex grounded in the DMV.”

Tirapelle spent a total of eight seasons with Borrelli at Stanford, first becoming part of the Cardinal staff in 2010-14 and rejoining the program from 2017-21. This past season, the Cardinal swept the Pac-12 awards, seven of 10 Cardinal starters qualified for the NCAA Championships, and Stanford finished with two All-Americans and its first national champion since 2004 in redshirt sophomore Shane Griffith.

In his eight combined seasons at Stanford, Tirapelle helped Cardinal wrestlers earn 33 berths to the NCAA Championships, including Stanford’s second three-time All-American and first two-time NCAA finalist in Nick Amuchastegui. The Cardinal earned 10 total All-America honors during Tirapelle’s tenure, including three at the 2011 NCAA Championships in Philadelphia – the highest All-America output at any NCAA Championships by a Stanford squad. The three All-Americans in 2011 propelled the Cardinal to an 11th-place finish overall, the highest team finish in program history. Stanford matched its record with three All-Americans in 2020.

“I’m excited to get my family settled and begin the work of building on the already impressive tradition of AU Wrestling,” said Tirapelle. “I’m extremely grateful to Jason Borrelli and the rest of the AU Athletics community for their commitment to wrestling, and also for affording me the opportunity to continue doing the work I love. Jason is a battle-tested leader that shares my holistic approach to helping student-athletes maximize their potential. I can’t wait to get started. Go Eagles!”

During his tenure at Penn, Tirapelle went 21-18 in duals and had 13 wrestlers qualify for the NCAA Championships, including All-American Casey Kent in 2016.

Prior to his first stint at Stanford, Tirapelle served as an assistant coach at UC Davis for two seasons. coaching one Pac-12 champion and six NCAA qualifiers. Before working with the Aggies, he spent seven years at the University of Illinois as a student-athlete, graduate student and member of the academic advising staff.

Tirapelle twice earned All-America status at Illinois, captured two Big Ten titles, and was named Big Ten Wrestler of the Year in 2004. As a freshman in 2003, he finished as the national runner-up and earned Illinois Freshman Male Athlete of the Year honors in the process. Tirapelle finished his career as the Illini’s all-time wins leader with 128, while ranking third with an .877 winning percentage.

Along with his impressive athletic career, Tirapelle racked up several academic honors. He was a Big Ten All-Academic honoree all four years, a first-team NWCA All-Academic selection, and first-team ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-American. In addition, Tirapelle earned an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. 

Tirapelle holds a pair of degrees from Illinois, graduating in 2006 with a B.S. in accountancy and earning a Master’s in sports management in 2009. Tirapelle’s wife, Amy, is also an Illinois graduate who was a member of the cross country and track & field teams. The couple have three children, Leandro, Sofia and Lorenzo.

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