The Wildcat is now a Quaker, as four-time NCAA Division I All-American heavyweight Mike McMullan of Northwestern University has been hired as an assistant coach at the University of Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia-based Ivy League school announced Thursday. McMullan will join the staff headed up by Alex Tirapelle on June 22, and also participate in the school’s Master of Science in Criminology program.
“Excited to announce that I will continue my education and begin my coaching career at the University of Pennsylvania next month. I thank everyone who has helped me get to this point in my life, and I am excited to see what the future brings! #FightOnPenn” is what McMullan wrote on his Facebook page Thursday.
McMullan just completed his collegiate career at Northwestern with his fourth All-American finish, placing third in the 285-pound bracket at the 2015 NCAAs in March, becoming only the third Wildcat wrestler to earn All-American honors four times… never finishing below third place, according to his Northwestern wrestling bio. Two weeks earlier, McMullan claimed his first Big Ten conference championship with a win over Bobby Telford of the University of Iowa in the finals. The Easton, Pa. native compiled a 103-23 record while at Northwestern, and his .817 winning percentage is ninth all-time at Northwestern. In addition, McMullan was selected to compete in the NWCA All-Star Classic three times during his career.
Off the mat, McMullan was equally impressive. He was named NWCA All-Academic and Academic All-Big Ten at the conclusion of the 2014-15 season. He also served as a member of Northwestern’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. For all these reasons, Penn head wrestling coach Tirapelle is eager to welcome McMullan to his coaching staff.
“I’m happy to announce that Mike McMullan will be joining our staff,” said Tirapelle. “Mike’s competitive career is nothing short of amazing. Combine his wrestling accomplishments with his academic performance and one arrives at an exemplary model for our student-athletes at Penn. His character and work ethic are representative of Penn Wrestling’s core values, and the quiet confidence that he projects makes him a natural leader of young men. Current and future Penn wrestlers are extremely fortunate to have Mike as a resource to assist with the program’s development.”
“I am thankful to Alex Tirapelle and the administration at Penn – including (President) Dr. Grace Calhoun and (Athletic Director) Alanna Shanahan – for the opportunity to coach at the University of Pennsylvania,” said McMullan. “Penn is one of the finest academic institutions in the world with over 110 years of wrestling tradition featuring success not just inside the Ivy League and EIWA (Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association) but on the national level. I am excited to be able to return to the commonwealth of Pennsylvania where I first fell in love with the sport and help the Quakers in this new era of Penn Wrestling.”
McMullan has a major supporter in Drew Pariano, his head coach at Northwestern, who said of his just-graduated heavyweight, “Mike McMullan is a true student of the sport. He was a very successful wrestler on the mat. All of us in the Northwestern Wrestling family wish him well as he embarks on this new adventure, one that will bring him close to his family in the Eastern Pennsylvania area.”