Eric Bergeron returns to alma mater to lead Panthers
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Plymouth State University Athletics department filled out its staff for the 2018-19 season with the announcement of a new head wrestling coach on Monday.
Eric Bergeron, who wrestled for the Panthers from 2007-11, becomes the 15th head coach in the program's 53 year history. Bergeron takes over for Ryan Scheiding, who led the Panthers the last five years before resigning in August.
"I am thrilled that Eric will be joining us as our head wrestling coach," said Director of Athletics Kim Bownes. "He has had some great coaching experience since graduating from Plymouth State and our wrestling program. He came highly recommended by Tommy Prairie, a very successful former head coach at PSU. Eric will fit right into the department and will make an immediate positive impact on the program."
"I'm very excited to be back at Plymouth State," said Bergeron. "I'm looking forward to working with these student-athletes and continuing to build this program going forward."
A 2011 graduate of Plymouth State, Bergeron got his start in coaching as an assistant at Washington and Jefferson College (Pa.) under former Panther coach Tommy Prairie from 2012-14. During his two seasons he helped coach six All-Americans, five Scholar All-Americans and two Academic All-Americans.
In 2014, Bergeron left to become the head coach at Defiance College (Ohio). The varsity program wrestled in the National Collegiate Wrestling Association (NCWA), a post-secondary athletic association for non-NCAA collegiate wrestling teams.
Under his tutelage, Defiance had four regional qualifiers and a pair of NCWA national qualifiers. The duo both went on to achieve NCWA All-American status while bringing home a tenth place finish in Division 2 at the 2016 NCWA Championships in Kissimmee, Fla.
Bergeron returned to his hometown of Meriden, Conn. in 2016 to take the reins as the head coach at Maloney High School, where he was a two-time state qualifier. While there he maintained an impressive roster size and mentored two State Champions, three state open qualifiers, two state open placers and a New England Championship placer. His program boasted a nine-win improvement from his first to second year.
As a Panther, Bergeron wrestled at 125 pounds, earning the James D. Aguiar Unsung Hero Award in 2011. The award, honoring the late former Panther head coach, is presented annually to the wrestler whose great contributions to the team may have gone unrecognized. Following the completion of his freshman season Bergeron was named the Panthers' Most Improved Wrestler. He has also been a four-time Connecticut National Team Member and two-time Fargo Team Member.
Bergeron graduated from PSU in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and earned a Master of Education in Sports and Coaching from Defiance in 2016.
Bergeron will take over a program that went 3-9 in dual meets last winter while finishing 16th at NCAA Division III Northeast Regionals. Rising sophomore Dylan Da Silva (Bayville, N.J.) will be the top returning grappler. Last year the rookie posted an 11-2 mark, wrestling primarily at 185-pounds, before suffering a season-ending injury in early December.
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