For the first time in program history, St. Thomas Wrestling has a head coach, as Jake Patacsil has been named the inaugural Wrestling Coach at STU.
Patacsil, a native South Floridian, brings tremendous experience to the newest sport at STU, having previously worked with St. Thomas University President, David A. Armstrong, J.D. at Notre Dame College in Cleveland, OH.
“This is the third collegiate wrestling program I have started and I wanted to be sure to hire someone that knows how we do it. Jake was an assistant coach at Notre Dame College, and that program has won eight National Championships. The fact that he is a Saint Thomas Aquinas-alum and knows the South Florida wrestling environment is a bonus,” said Armstrong. “He is an accomplished wrestler, a great recruiter, and we’re excited that he is starting our program.”
Patacsil has an extensive résumé, with over ten years of experience as a wrestling coach and has coached at numerous colleges across the United States. Patacsil began coaching collegiately in 2010, as an assistant coach at Central College (IA.), before transitioning to his role as an assistant coach at Notre Dame College (2011-13). Following his stint at Notre Dame College, Patascil was an assistant coach at Duke University (NC./2013-14) and Hofstra University (NY./2014-18), before finally becoming accepting a Head Coaching position at University of Mount Olive (NC.) in 2018 and leaves UMO for St. Thomas University.
Patacsil has coached a total of eleven All-Americans, four individual National Champions, and the NCWA National Champions in 2011. Perhaps more impressive is Patacsil’s wrestling career, having wrestled at Purdue University from 2006 – 2009.
“I am excited to continue building relationships with the wrestling community in Florida and will recruit nationally, to bring the best talent to STU. My goal is to be competitive year one and turn St. Thomas into a powerhouse wrestling program,” said Patacsil. “I want to thank President Armstrong and Athletic Director, Courtley-Todd and all the staff at St. Thomas for trusting in me to start the wrestling program. It has been a dream of mine to coach collegiately in my home of South Florida.”
During his wrestling career, Patacsil was named an All-American in 2008-09, taking fifth in the nation at 149 pounds; recognized as the “Most Outstanding Wrestler” at Purdue (06-09); received the Durham Leadership Award (06-07), and won the Big Ten Medal of Honor (08-09), which is given to the Big Ten senior student-athlete who best exemplifies athletic success, community involvement, and academic achievement.
Beginning in 2020, St. Thomas University will join the Mid-South Conference and participate in the South Division. Additional teams in the Mid-South are Southeastern, Life University (GA.), Brewton-Parker (GA.), Cumberland (TN.), Keiser, Cumberlands (KY.), Campbellsville (KY.), Lindsey Wilson (KY.), Thomas More (KY.), and Midway University (KY.).