Keystone College is returning to its proud athletic roots by reintroducing wrestling as its newest intercollegiate sport, college officials announced today.
From the 1960s through the 1980s, Keystone was known for being one of the best small college wrestling programs in the nation. Known at the time as Keystone Junior College, the program produced some of the top wrestlers in the country under legendary head coach the late Larry Fornicola.
Now a four-year baccalaureate and master’s degree college, Keystone will compete in collegiate wrestling as an independent in NCAA Division III beginning in the 2016-2017 season. Wrestling will be Keystone’s 20th varsity sport.
The college has engaged Steven Mytych, a former Drexel University wrestling standout who had been serving as assistant wrestling coach at both Bloomsburg University and Wyoming Seminary Preparatory School in Kingston.
“We are absolutely delighted to reintroduce collegiate wrestling at Keystone,” said Athletic Director Dr. Matthew Grimaldi. “As many area sports fans remember, Keystone wrestling was respected as one of the nation’s best programs, thanks to the tremendous efforts of Larry Fornicola and his excellent teams. Now, it’s time to bring wrestling back to campus for a new generation of student-athletes. We can’t wait to get started.”
As a Division III independent, Keystone will be eligible to schedule a wide-variety of opponents, including the possibility of competition with other regional Division III schools such as Wilkes University and King’s College.
Wrestling was discontinued at Keystone following the 1990-91 season due to a lack of similarly sized colleges competing in the sport at the time. Coach Fornicola led Keystone wrestling from 1965 through 1990 and was inducted into the National Junior College Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1980. Among many other accomplishments, he was a Lifetime Service to Wrestling Honoree, recognizing his years of dedication to the sport. He is a member of the Keystone College Hall of Fame.
Under his guidance, Keystone produced such outstanding student athletes as National Junior College Athletic Association national champions Dick Keefe (1967), Neil Duncan (1970) and Bill Kametz (1973).
“I am so thrilled that wrestling is back at Keystone,” said Mrs. Bernie Fornicola, a Keystone graduate and wife of the late Coach Fornicola. “I have such wonderful memories of the past, and now many more young people will have the opportunity to find out just how great it is to be a student and wrestler at Keystone College.”