On this episode of the RUDIS Wrestling podcast, Matt Dernlan is joined by veteran Lehigh head coach Pat Santoro. Santoro is a native of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and a 2x NCAA Champion and the only 4x All-American for the University of Pittsburgh. Following his decorated career at Pitt, Santoro continued with an international career which would span nearly a decade. a 4x National Team member and an alternate at the 1996 Games, Santoro is now widely regarded as one of the greatest coaches and recruiters in the sport of wrestling. Just having finished his 12th season at Lehigh, Santoro has an extensive coaching resume, which includes four EIWA Coach of the Year awards, two EIWA team championship titles and the mentoring of two NCAA Champions.

Dernlan and Santoro discuss how Lehigh has responded to the Coronavirus, how the transition to virtual coaching and academics has served for the Mountain Hawks, and what separates the good from the great. The two break down the EIWA and Lehigh’s consistent success in the largest collegiate wrestling conference, which continues to grow more difficult each year, as well as the importance of Regional Training Centers and what coaches look for when adding senior level athletes to an RTC setting.


0:00 Show Intro 1:05
Transition to Virtual Coaching
6:05 What Separates the Elite Right Now
9:10 Engaging Athletes Virtually
11:36 Lehigh’s 2019-2020 Season
13:46 Adapting Each Year as a Coach
20:00 Winning
24:20 Staying Consistent as EIWA Gets Tougher
33:38 The Importance of RTCs


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