Jake Patacsil Is The First Ever Wrestling Coach At St. Thomas University

St. Thomas University Hires Jake Patacsil To Start Wrestling Program

When it was announced that St. Thomas University (STU) would be starting a wrestling program, it was met with plenty of enthusiasm from a state that has long been starved for a collegiate program.

When Keiser University began its program this year in West Palm Beach, it followed Southeastern University in Lakeland to keep the momentum going in Florida.

With so many quality wrestlers leaving the state and heading to so many destinations across the country, it was about time that Florida kept its stellar athletes at home – and now that is going to happen.

On Monday night, the Bobcats took that major step when Athletic Director Laura Courtley-Todd announced the hiring of the school’s first ever head coach.

One-time Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas standout Jake Patacsil was named the inaugural Wrestling Coach, and that is a move that will certainly get the ball moving in building the Bobcats into an NAIA power.

Following in the impressive footsteps of one amazing athletic program, wrestling is going to be able to tap into the quality wrestling that the Sunshine State has offered for decades.

“I want to thank President Armstrong and Athletic Director, Courtley-Todd and all the staff at St. Thomas for trusting in me to start the wrestling program. It has been a dream of mine to coach collegiately in my home of South Florida,” Patacsil said.”

A native South Floridian, Patacsil brings tremendous experience to the newest sport at STU, having previously worked with St. Thomas University President, David A. Armstrong, J.D. at Notre Dame College in Cleveland, OH.

"This is the third collegiate wrestling program I have started and I wanted to be sure to hire someone that knows how we do it,” President Armstrong explained. “Jake was an assistant coach at Notre Dame College, and that program has won eight National Championships. The fact that he is a Saint Thomas Aquinas-alum and knows the South Florida wrestling environment is a bonus.”

President Armstrong added: "He is an accomplished wrestler, a great recruiter, and we're excited that he is starting our program."

Patacsil has an extensive résumé, with over ten years of experience as a wrestling coach and has coached at numerous colleges across the United States. Patacsil began coaching collegiately in 2010, as an assistant coach at Central College (IA.), before transitioning to his role as an assistant coach at Notre Dame College (2011-13). Following his stint at Notre Dame College, Patascil was an assistant coach at Duke University (NC./2013-14) and Hofstra University (NY./2014-18), before finally becoming accepting a Head Coaching position at University of Mount Olive (NC.) in 2018 and leaves UMO for St. Thomas University. 

Patacsil has coached a total of eleven All-Americans, four individual National Champions, and the NCWA National Champions in 2011. Perhaps more impressive is Patacsil's wrestling career, having wrestled at Purdue University from 2006 - 2009. 

“I am excited to continue building relationships with the wrestling community in Florida and will recruit nationally, to bring the best talent to STU. My goal is to be competitive year one and turn St. Thomas into a powerhouse wrestling program,” added Patacsil

During his wrestling career, Patacsil was named an All-American in 2008-09, taking fifth in the nation at 149 pounds; recognized as the "Most Outstanding Wrestler" at Purdue (06-09); received the Durham Leadership Award (06-07), and won the Big Ten Medal of Honor (08-09), which is given to the Big Ten senior student-athlete who best exemplifies athletic success, community involvement, and academic achievement.

Beginning in 2020, St. Thomas University will join the Mid-South Conference and participate in the South Division. Additional teams in the Mid-South are Southeastern, Life University (GA.), Brewton-Parker (GA.), Cumberland (TN.), Keiser, Cumberlands (KY.), Campbellsville (KY.), Lindsey Wilson (KY.), Thomas More (KY.), and Midway University (KY.).


About St. Thomas University:

The only Catholic Archdiocesan-sponsored University in Florida, St. Thomas University (www.stu.edu) places an institutional emphasis on social justice and ethical behavior. It provides its globally diverse student body with low student/teacher ratios. The private, non-profit university offers more than 45 undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate degrees at its 144-acre campus in Miami Gardens, Fla., and through distance learning, including one of the oldest (and highly ranked) undergraduate programs in Sports Administration in the country. From 1970 to 1992, St. Thomas University was the training and practice home of the Miami Dolphins.