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Discontinued Programs - Wrestling


The Seton Hall grapplers left an unmistakable legacy after a number of decades filled with success during the 20th century. Another program which asserted its prowess on a national level throughout its history, the Seton Hall wrestling team competed with a dedication and commitment to excellence representative of the Seton Hall spirit. One of the most impactful figures in program history was former head coach Al Reinoso. Reinoso took the reins of the program in 1974, inheriting a team that had managed just two winning seasons in the 10 years prior. A former standout collegiate wrestler who went on to lead local product St. Benedict's Prep to two state and national prep wrestling championships, Reinoso quickly established a winning culture with the Pirates. Reinoso marshaled the team through much of the modern era, directing his squad's to winning marks in his first three seasons. This foundation paved the way for the program to emerge as a regional and national power. The team's performance reached dominant levels in the mid 1980's under his guidance as from 1983-1986, the Pirates posted a 55-9 (.859) record that included a banner 20-1 year in 1985-1986. Under his leadership, winning became the standard for Seton Hall wrestling as Reinoso's teams had just three losing seasons on record in his 21 years at the helm. Aside from the team's collective triumphs, a multitude of individual wrestlers achieved prominence on both the conference and national levels. Some of the most significant accolades came after the 1994-95 season, Reinoso's final go-around in charge of the mat for SHU. That year, seniors Joe Burke and Lou Cerchio achieved All-American status, a first in program history as the team went 12-5 to finish 18th in the country. It was the second consecutive All-American honor for Burke and the first of Cerchio's stellar career. Burke earned the honor after spending much of the season as the number one ranked wrestler in the nation at 158 pounds. He took home the Big Northeast Wrestling Conference Championship, and muscled his way to a third place finish at the NCAA Championships. Cerchio was honored at 167 pounds after capturing his own conference crown and placing seventh at the national tournament. Two of the most prolific wrestlers in school history, Burke finished his career with a 112-12 record during his time at Seton Hall while Cerchio closed out his time in South Orange with a 103-25-1 lifetime mark. On the heels of that success, the team continued to perform at a high level through its final year in 2000-01, a testament to all who left who left their sweat and blood on the mat in the name of Seton Hall throughout the program's illustrious history.