BY JOSEF SAMILENKO
The Sacred Heart University wrestling team has added Jon Fausey to their coaching staff. Fausey joins the team in the early portion of their season, where the team has completed four matches this season.
Second-year head coach John Clark was involved with the hire.
“Coach Fausey can immediately have a great impact on the team,” said Clark. “He is a terrific role model for the student-athletes on the team both on and off the mat.”
Fausey was an ACC champion with the University of Virginia (UV) in 2012. He qualified for the NCAA Tournament every year during his time with UV.
Senior Christopher Cornell has been with the team since his first day at Sacred Heart and is looking forward for the chance to learn new things with his new coach.
“It’s great to see the coaching staff grow along with our program as a whole,” said Cornell. “Coach Fausey is a very intelligent and experienced wrestler who is transitioning into a great coach and we’re glad to have added him.”
In his first year at UV, Fausey was encouraged to compete for a starting spot rather than redshirting for a year.
Fausey chose UV over multiple schools including Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania.
“He has a great personality and brings a ton of energy to the program,” said Clark.
Last season, the team finished with a record of 2-10. They have already tied their win total this season.
“We’re off to a very hot start so we want to keep it rolling forward through the rest of the season,” said Cornell. “This year’s team has a great vibe to it, a ton of guys who work hard and want to support a greater cause than themselves.”
The addition of Fausey gives Sacred Heart more help in the training room as well as a recent student-athlete.
“He will allow us to give more individual attention to the student-athletes on the team,” said Clark.
Assistant coach Braden Atwood is also new to Sacred Heart. He joined the wrestling coaching staff prior to the 2019 fall term.
Atwood was also a four-year athlete. He attended Purdue University.
“[Fausey’s] success stood out at first being a four-time NCAA qualifier and having a great career at Virginia but then knowing him as a person sealed the deal,” said Atwood. “He is someone as a parent you would want to be mentoring your child.”
Atwood has seen the significance of the NCAA tournament. He was also a four-time NCAA tournament participant.
While at UV, Fausey tallied a career record 98-36.
Prior to his college career, Fausey wrestled at Line Mountain High School. He earned All-American status and placed sixth at the Junior and Cadet National Freestyle Tournament.
“Coach Atwood, Coach Fausey and I have similar coaching philosophies and it will be a smooth transition for all,” said Clark.
Senior Gerard Daly, who redshirted last year, has seen the team change form over the years.
“The focus is just to stay winning in everything we do from the classroom, to our lives outside of school and obviously on the mat,” said Daly.