McHENRY, Md. – Recruiting isn't just about getting the best wrestlers. It's also about attracting strong coaching prospects. That's exactly what Garrett College head wrestling coach John Chambers believes he did in bringing former Division I wrestler Tanner Cahill onto his coaching staff.
"Tanner is going to be a great addition to our coaching staff," said Chambers, whose Lakers qualified six wrestlers for nationals as a first-year program last season. "His energy, enthusiasm, and first-hand knowledge of collegiate wrestling will help us recruit high-caliber student athletes."
"I'm excited about joining a program that's already on the rise," said Cahill, who wrestled for Division I Bloomsburg University for two years before finishing his career at Division II national power University of Pittsburgh Johnstown. "This area is the recruiting mecca of the world for wrestling – Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia produce so many high-caliber guys who slip through the cracks and don't get to wrestle in college. We want them at Garrett College."
Cahill was one of those wrestlers who could have slipped through the cracks. He compiled a 137-21 record at Conemaugh Township High School, earning National High School Coaches Association all-American honors. Without Division I scholarship offers, he walked on at Bloomsburg University, eventually earning a scholarship.
Cahill was a two-year starter at Bloomsburg during a three-year stint that included a red shirt year. He took fourth and fifth place in the annual Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) championships in his weight class, as well as a fifth-place finish in the high-powered Keystone Classic.
Cahill wrestled one of his two years at Pitt-Johnstown, going 8-8 with eight falls and placing fifth at the PSAC championships at 133 pounds, while completing a degree in economics. He also went 2-2 at the Midlands tournament. To Cahill, transitioning into coaching made all the sense in the world.
"I've always wanted to coach," said Cahill, who served as a volunteer assistant coach at Berlin Brothersvalley High School where his two brothers wrestled. Both brothers, Taylor and Toby Cahill, are currently wrestling for Division I University of Buffalo. "And I've been looking to get into college coaching. Garrett College is a perfect fit for me."