LEXINGTON, Va. – Following an 11-year tenure at the Institute, VMI head wrestling coach Chris Skretkowicz announced Wednesday that he is resigning his post to pursue an outside professional opportunity.
VMI assistant coach Richard Lavorato has been appointed interim head coach of the program.
“I would like to thank Dr. Diles as well as all of our administrators, coaches and wrestlers that I have worked with over the past 11 years,” Skretkowicz said. “It has truly been an honor to work with everyone at VMI. I have chosen to pursue a career away from coaching and I look forward to supporting the Keydets at future sporting events.”
In the past three seasons as the program’s head coach, Skretkowicz led his team to 11 victories, including five Southern Conference wins. In 2016, he coached freshman Neal Richards to the NCAA Tournament, the fourth wrestler of his tenure to qualify for the national tournament. That season, the Keydets doubled their point total at the SoCon Tournament from the previous season with 27 points. Another highlight of the year came when junior Dalton Henderson won the 125-pound title at the All-Academy Championships hosted by VMI.
Named head coach of the program in April 2014, Skretkowicz led his 2014-15 squad to six dual wins, the most since the 2011-12 season. Sophomore Shabaka Johns placed second at the SoCon Tournament and senior Juan Adams won the heavyweight title at the All-Academy Championships.
Prior to serving as the interim head coach during the 2013-14 season, Skretkowicz served as an assistant coach for the program from 2006 to 2013, a period in which he helped coach Corry Murray (2007) and Josh Wine (2008, 2011) to individual SoCon titles and NCAA Tournament appearances.
Before his arrival at VMI, Skretkowicz had an outstanding wrestling career as a student-athlete at Hofstra University where he was a two-time All-American (2003, 2004) and three-time Colonial Athletic Association champion at 197 pounds. He went 140-24 overall during his four years as a member of the Pride wrestling team including a perfect 26-0 record versus CAA opponents. He also placed three times at the prestigious Midlands tournament and won the 197-pound title at the 2004 Cliff Keen tournament in Las Vegas.
“We thank Chris for all his contributions moving VMI Wrestling forward during his 11 years of service,” said VMI Athletics Director Dr. Dave Diles. “Chris informed me that he desired to move into another profession, and while I’m disappointed that he will be leaving VMI, I know that his contributions to the program will be ongoing. We wish him the best as he embarks on this new opportunity.”
The search for a permanent head coach will commence in the winter with the expectation that an announcement will be made shortly after the conclusion of the season.