Kerry McCoy wrestled for the Longwood junior high team from 7th through 9th grade. His first year wrestling varsity was in 10th grade. He lost his first match at the league 1 tournament. After the season, he began to have more success. After placing 2nd at the Cadet Nationals, he went on to win a silver medal at the Cadet World Championships. He finished his HS career with a record of 71-7 which included two Section XI titles, two appearances in the state finals and a State Championship for Longwood HS.
After his freshman year at Penn State, Kerry moved up to heavyweight and excelled at that weight class during arguably the greatest era of big men, consistently beating the best wrestlers in the world—both at home and abroad.
After going 19-17 at 190 pounds in his first 36 matches representing Penn State University, McCoy spent the rest of his collegiate career at heavyweight, where he would suffer only one loss in 132 matches.
As a sophomore, McCoy won the 1994 NCAA tournament with a season record of 47-0. As a junior, he rode an 88-match win streak into the semifinals of the 1995 NCAA tournament where he suffered his only defeat, eventually taking third place.
In 1996, Penn State’s standout heavyweight redshirted to focus on freestyle wrestling. During the finals of the 1996 U.S. Open, he took eventual Olympic champion Kurt Angle to the wire, but dropped a 0-0 referees’ decision. He went on to finish third at the Olympic Trials.
McCoy returned to collegiate wrestling with a vengeance. He compiled a 41-0 record and won the 1997 NCAA tournament over arguably the deepest heavyweight class in college wrestling history. His bracket included an eventual World champion, an eventual World bronze medalist, and a 1996 Greco-Roman Olympian, along with several other multi-time All-Americans. He finished his collegiate career with two NCAA championships, three Big 10 titles, and a career record of 150-18.
Internationally, McCoy was just as successful. He won five straight U.S. Open freestyle championships, competing for the New York Athletic Club from 2000 – 2004 and was named the Outstanding Wrestler at the 2003 Pan American Games. He earned a silver medal at the 2003 World Championships in New York and represented the U.S. twice at the Olympics, placing fifth in 2000 and seventh in 2004.
On May 12, 2008, McCoy became the head wrestling coach at the University of Maryland after spending three seasons at Stanford as the Cardinals’ head coach. At Maryland Kerry has created some of the best teams Maryland has ever had winning multiple ACC titles and placing individuals as high as top 5 at the Big 10 championships. In 2009 the team finished 10th at the NCAA nationals. It is with great honor and respect that we add Kerry McCoy to the Downstate chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame for his commitment and dedication to the Sport.