For Missouri Valley College Associate Head Wrestling Coach Pat Giangrosso, the offseason is generally spent several different ways.
This includes working at individual camps and scouting, activities that can become one in the same and for Giangrosso has him at Centralia this week instructing at a Feet to Back Camp Tues.- Thur. organized by Justin Wisdom.
"When it comes to guys that I've coached or wrestled with, they might reach out to me and suggest I check out a specififc athlete, so that's how I'll do it," said Giangrosso. "Of course there's websites like flowrestling, trackwrestling, youtube and every other thing out there. I can get online and check out guys that way, as well."
Even though Giangrosso has access to a wealth of data because of the nature of the internet, that information can only tell you so much about a person. To learn about an individuals personality and find out if they're actually a proper fit for the team a coach has to actually spend time with an athlete.
"We put a lot of effort into that. Believe me, we love winning. But, we look into the character side of people a lot more than we do some of the other stuff," Giangrosso said. "There are a lot of great wrestlers out there, but we're trying to find guys who are standup people off the mat. We're trying to find the ones with grades. I want to be able to hand a kid my car keys and tell him to run these errands and know it's going to take all day and I know they're going to do this and come back."
Originally from Kansas, Giangrosso graduated from Bishop Carroll High School in Witchita as a 5A state champion. According to www.valleywillroll.com as a college wrestler he was known for being strong in the neutral position and on the mat and he also has experience in freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling.
"I want to be able to have an athlete run to my house and know they didn't raid the pantry. Ok, they might raid the pantry, but not snoop around or do anything like that. I trust my guys," said Giangrosso. "That's what we look for. The right type of guy. Somebody who is going to be a leader. Someone who is going to be positive in society."
While Giangrosso has been at MVC the program has been a consistent winner that included starting 2017 as the second ranked team in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. The team has also been a regional runner-up five times since 2012-13 and they've boasted 11 All-Americans since 2016.
"(The success we've had) gives me credibility with my guys. It allows me to say I was a two-time All-American. I didn't win an individual national title. I was on a team that won a national title, but I wish I did," Giangrosso said. "I got close. I just didn't do it. I've had my ups and downs in my career. I lost a bubble match at a national tournament one year. I know where it's at, so I can go to the guys about what they're feeling and how they're doing. How to work through it. The mental game of it all."
One thing all that accomplishment has allowed for is that Giangrosso is basically involved in every part of the Vikings program. That means he also has a say in regards to issues such as daily management, summer weight lifting and the starting lienup.
"The coaching resume right now is speaking for itself. We've coached a couple national champ finalists, i don't know how many All-Americans and national qualifier type stuff," said Giangrosso. "What we're teaching it is working and the way we're teaching it and the way we're running our program is working. You can see that on and off the mat with our guys. That says volumes about our program."