Penn-Trafford wrestling coach A.J. Brentzel steps down

Sunday, May 1, 2022 | 10:01 AM

A.J. Brentzel’s stint as Penn-Trafford wrestling coach has ended after three seasons.

With a fifth child on the way in the next three months, Brentzel made a difficult decision and resigned as coach. Job responsibilities and family trumped being a coach.

“I hate losing him,” Penn-Trafford Athletic Director Kerry Hetrick said. “We tried to put it off and have him think about it. He did a great job here. We have to go back to the drawing board.

“A.J. is a great person and the wrestlers liked him. That’s what so hard losing him. He put us in a good position. Now we have to find someone that can keep the program going.”

Brentzel leaves a program that is on the rise. The Warriors will return numerous starters from team that qualified for the WPIAL Class 3A team tournament. The team graduates PIAA placewinner Troy Hohman and Wesley Stull.

Some of the top returning wrestlers including Owen Ott, Hayden Coy, Joe Enick, Dom Hartman, Tasso Whipple and Adam Hall. Brentzel said numerous freshmen could be part of the lineup.

“I intend to help out if I can,” Brentzel said. “The program is in pretty good shape.

“It wasn’t always about wins and losses. My goal was to see improvement from the wrestlers, and I definitely saw that.”

Brentzel, a P-T graduate, is not sure who will apply for the job, but whoever does is getting a team that will be competitive the next few seasons.

Brentzel replaced Rich Ginther in 2020.

Hetrick said he hopes to hire coach by the June school board meeting. The job was posted internally and then will be posted externally.

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at


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