Bob Del Rosa, who has been head wrestling coach at Case Western Reserve University for 47 seasons, has died at age 75, the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) reported Friday.
According to a press statement issued by CRWU, Del Rosa passed away around 8 p.m. Thursday, “surrounded by his family, and supported by an early evening visit from his team.”
On Tuesday, the Cleveland-based school announced that Chris Nader had been named interim head coach as Del Rosa was recovering from surgery this summer. Nader, a 2002 graduate of CWRU, had served as an associate head coach for Del Rosa from 2003-10.
Del Rosa had been connected with CRWU for 50 years. During that time, in addition to heading up the Spartan mat program, Del Rosa had worked as head coach for the school’s football, baseball and tennis programs. He was inducted into the Spartan Club Hall of Fame in 2006.
As wrestling coach at CRWU, Del Rosa produced four NCAA Division III champions (including 2010 149-pound champ Isaac Dukes), 37 national qualifiers, 18 All-Americans and 35 NCAA Scholar All-Americans. At the close of the 2011 season, Del Rosa had compiled 310 wins, placing him 17th among all active wrestling coaches in all divisions, right behind Oklahoma State’s John Smith with 311 wins. In 1996, Del Rosa was inducted into the Division III Wrestling Hall of Fame.
“While no words can adequately describe Coach D.’s unequaled contributions to our department and University, I find comfort knowing that all of us are richer personally for knowing him,” said Director of Athletics Dave Diles. “The professional lessons we all gained through witnessing his education, support and mentoring of countless young people will serve us well and keep his legacy alive.”
Del Rosa graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 1958. He was a three-time letterman for UC’s football team (1956-58), and served as captain of the 1958 Bearcats. Del Rosa earned his Masters from CWRU in 1970.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
Want to know more? Check out the article on the passing of Bob Del Rosa in the Cleveland Plain Dealer… and, for a particularly moving tribute to Coach Del Rosa, visit d3wrestle.com
Keep up with college wrestling all year ’round! The season may be over, but there’s always something new going on — coach hirings and firings, new programs, new recruits, and more. Click the “subscribe” button on this page to be among the first to know… and make sure you don’t miss a single thing. It’s absolutely FREE!i
College Wrestling 101: Links to College Wrestling Examiner articles answering basic questions about wrestling, including rules, scoring, uniforms, more
Follow College Wrestling Examiner Mark Palmer on Twitter