Big Ten

Columbia Hires Donny Pritzlaff As New Head Coach

Columbia Hires Donny Pritzlaff As New Head Coach

Rutgers Associate Head Coach Donny Pritzlaff will fill the head coaching vacancy at Columbia University.

Jun 18, 2024 by Andrew Spey
Columbia Hires Donny Pritzlaff As New Head Coach

Donny Pritzlaff will be the next head coach of the Columbia University Lions. Pritzlaff has been the Associate Head Coach at Rutgers University for the last 10 years and reportedly informed the team of his decision to traverse the Hudson River to take the reigns of New York City's Ivy League program Tuesday morning. 

The Scarlet Knight program has thrived since Pritzlaff arrived on campus for the 2013-14 season. Rutgers wrestlers earned 17 All-American honors during Pritzlaff's tenure in New Brunswick. The Scarlet Knights had just seven podium placers in program history prior to the 2013-14 season. 

Before Rutgers Pritzlaff spent the previous three seasons as an assistant coach at Michigan University and five years prior to that as the associate head coach at his alma mater Wisconsin.

A three-time New Jersey state high school champion at Lyndhurst, Pritzlaff was a four-time NCAA All-American at Wisconsin, winning the 165-pound NCAA championship in 2000 and 2001. Pritzlaff was also a highly credentialed freestyle wrestler, earning a bronze medal at the 2006 World Championships. 

Pritzlaff will take over Columbia from another New Jersey native and Wisconsin grad, Zach Tanelli, who recently took a position on Tony Robie's Virginia Tech coaching staff after eight years at the helm of the Lions. Columbia recently celebrated their first All-American since 2013 in Lenox Wolak, who placed sixth at 174 last March. Columbia has had just four All-Americans in their last 20 years.

New York City's Columbia University, along with the other five Ivy League programs that sponsor wrestling, will have their own postseason tournament for the first time in history as all six teams have left the EIWA this offseason.