Brentzel hired as Penn-Trafford wrestling coach

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Wednesday, June 26, 2019 | 9:22 PM


When A.J. Brentzel and his wife, Alicia, attended a Penn-Trafford wrestling match last season, Brentzel told her he really wanted to give back to the program.

“I felt I could help out and had something to make the program better,” Brentzel said. “I felt I could make a difference.”

When Rich Ginther decided to resign after the season to devote more time to his family, Brentzel became a candidate and will get a chance.

Penn-Trafford athletic director Kerry Hetrick announced Tuesday that Brentzel, a 2007 Penn-Trafford graduate, would become the program’s new coach.

While the Penn-Trafford School District’s board doesn’t meet for another month, the school board already has decided Brentzel will be the coach.

Brentzel, 31, owns a business, Pipeline Brex Enterprises, in Irwin. He and his wife have three children — 4-year-old twins Blaire and Bo and 2-year-old Case. They are expecting a fourth child this year.

His goal is to make Penn-Trafford strong again. In his junior season, Penn-Trafford was the WPIAL Class AAA champion, and in his senior season, the Warriors placed second. Vince Testa was Brentzel’s coach.

Penn-Trafford has had two three-time PIAA champions: Shane Young (2007-09) and Cam Coy (2014, 2016-2017).

“I have a different outlook on things,” Brentzel said. “We weren’t a squad filled with superstars. We just had a lot of good wrestlers who worked together. I want the program to continue to build and be solid again.

“I want to create a winning culture. I know about disappointments. I finished second in the state my senior season, and I was ranked No. 1 (NCAA Division II) at Pitt-Johnstown and didn’t become an All-American.”

Brentzel began his college career at Pitt before transferring to Pitt-Johnstown and graduating in 2011.

“I’m excited. It’s going to be a challenge,” Brentzel said. “I believe I’m ready for it.”

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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