Coach spotlight: Greg Quilty


Henry Owens and Vidhatrie Keetha

Throughout nearly fifty years of wrestling experience, Coach Gregg Quilty has amassed a wealth of knowledge with which he passionately instructs the Varsity Wrestling Team.
Quilty was first exposed to wrestling by his older brother, Jeff. After Jeff began wrestling in high school, he would often come home and teach third grade Quilty various moves, he said. When he was old enough to join a middle school wrestling team, Quilty came in with knowledge and practice that put him at a higher level than his peers.
“[Jeff] was training to be a wrestling coach, and he was teaching me all this stuff when I was in seventh grade,” Quilty said. “I had a lot of advanced techniques, and I was actually teaching my teammates. I was almost like an assistant coach when I was in middle school already.”
Because he’d been instructing people from a young age, Quilty feels as though he never had a hard transition from wrestling to coaching. From helping out his peers in middle school to working as a camp counselor, teaching has always been an important part of his relationship with wrestling, he said.
Although Quilty has been involved in other sports, such as hockey and soccer, wrestling has always been special to him. “I think the difference between the other sports was that feeling of individual accomplishment,” he said. “It was just you out there, so you had to take the blame for everything when you lost, but when you won, all the credit was yours.”
“[Wrestling] is humbling because you always know that there are people out there who can beat you,” Quilty said. “[You can] never get cocky about it because there’s always another level that’s better than you.”
After coaching at other high schools, Quilty was hired at the school by Director of Athletics Robert Annunziata, who coached Quilty when he was a student wrestler at Manhattan College. Quilty had contacted Annunziata to schedule a game between the school and Iona Prep, where he had been working for seven years. By the end of that call, Quilty was offered a job coaching wrestling, soccer, and lacrosse.
Liam Futterman (11) believes that Quilty stands out among other coaches at the school because of the level of trust he places in his wrestlers. “He’s never been the coach to make you do anything you don’t want to do. He trains athletes who put in what they want to get back.”
“The wrestlers that go through the program know what’s expected of them,” Quilty said. “I get a lot of respect from them, and it’s mutual respect. They understand what it takes and they’re all proud to be here.”
Quilty has had a record breaking career at the school over the past 27 years. His accomplishments as a coach include winning the Ivy League championship 13 consecutive years, 107 consecutive dual meet victories against private schools, and over 400 career victories. These and many other accomplishments led to Quilty being inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame last year.
However, what Quilty is most proud of is not all his achievements, but rather how he is able to transform the people on his team. One of his favorite moments is the annual end of season team dinner when the seniors give speeches. “They talk about what wrestling means to them. Almost all of them say, “It’s changed my life,” Quilty said. “When I hear them say that, it’s so much more valuable to me than winning any championship. It just really inspires me to keep doing it every year.”
As a coach, Quilty is beloved by his students because of his unique teaching styles and mental motivation. “Quilty helps us not only technically, but he also strengthens our mindset when it comes to wrestling and performing,” Elias Romero (10) said.
Quilty is a great motivational speaker who gives many speeches before and after matches, win or lose, James Thomas (10) said. “He’s always shouting and encouraging us throughout the match from the side.”
Despite the fact that there are so many members on the team, Quilty makes every interaction personal, Romero said. “He does a great job of making you feel like he’s really invested in you.”