Bob Panariello was introduced to wrestling at an early age by his biggest influence; his father, Al Panariello. When Bob was six years old, he began wrestling at Bay Shore Kid Wrestling under Hall of Famer Bill Knapp (2011) and Hall of Fame Coaches Jumper Leggio (1997) and Ed Hubbard (2003). Bob continued his career under Mike Joyce and at Bay Shore High School under Dick Rosener and Jumper Leggio from 1980 -1982. His accomplishments included: 3X league/conference finalist, 2X league champion, 1981 League MOW and Most Pins in Least Time, 3X All-Suffolk County-Section XI (3rd-1st-1st), 2X Suffolk County-Section XI Champion, 2X All-New York State (4th, 2nd), Freestyle and Greco Roman New York State Champion and Most Outstanding Wrestler, National Freestyle 3rd Place as a junior, and National runner-up as a his senior.
With many college options, Bob chose to continue his wrestling career and education at Ithaca College (1983-1987) under Hall of Fame Head Coach John Murray (2016) and Olympian – Hall of Famer Dave Auble (2010). At Ithaca, the honors Bob accumulated included a Career record of 130 Wins and 13 losses (45-1 record in dual meets- Inj. default), Team Captain, 2X Team MOW, 3X Conference Champion and 3X All-American (4th, 2nd, 3rd). Only a season ending injury in his junior year prevented him from being a four timer. Bob also won 13 of 21 College Tournaments. Upon graduation, Bob was the winningest wrestler in school history and was inducted into the Ithaca College Hall of Fame in 1994. In Freestyle competition following his college career Bob competed internationally and captured a Silver Medal in the 1992 Eastern Regional Olympic Trials and qualified for the final US Olympic Trials.
After graduation, Bob joined the coaching ranks at Bellport High School before returning to Ithaca College as an Assistant Coach for the 1990 NCAA Champions. In 1992 he took over the reigns as Head Coach of Brentwood High School following fellow Hall of Fame Coach Joe ”Gov” Campo (1996). From 1993-2002 Bob’s Brentwood teams accumulated a Dual Meet Record of 79 wins -31 losses and 2 ties for a winning percentage of .714. The “Brentwood Boys” captured three League I Championships, finished in the Top Ten in the Suffolk County-Section XI Tournament 5X, and captured 3 Class A County Championships. In 1999, the Brentwood team was Ranked #1 on Long Island. Bob had 7 teams ranked in the top 10 on Long Island.
His wrestlers captured 22 individual League Championships, 39 Section XI Place winners, 19 Suffolk County Finalists, 9 Suffolk County Champions, 5 All State Place Winners and 1 State Champion.
Bob was voted League Coach of the Year three times and was the Suffolk County Wrestling Officials Coach of the Year.
After only ten years as a Head Coach, Bob became the Athletic Director at Islip High School. For the next 15 years he worked with another Hall of Famer, Joe Patrovich (2012). During his tenure at Islip, Bob became the Section XI-Suffolk County High School Wrestling Chairman. From 2007-2015, under his guidance, Section XI began the official Section XI Dual Meet Championships. Bob currently serves on the New York State Wrestling Committee and received the SCWCA “Man of the Year” Award in 2010 and the “Grand Master” Award in 2015 as well as being recognized as “Administrator of the Year” multiple times.
In 2017 Bob returned home to his Alma Mata becoming the Athletic Director at Bay Shore High School. In 2019, Bob became the first Administrator on Long Island to add Girls wrestling as an official Varsity sport.