Former National Champ O'Connor '10 Joins Wrestling Coaching Staff

Three time all-American and 2010 NCAA Champion J.P. O’Connor joins the Harvard coaching staff (Tabitha Wilson).

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The David G. Bunning '88 Head Coach for Harvard Wrestling Jay Weiss has announced the addition of 2010 NCAA Champion J.P. O’Connor ‘10 to his coaching staff. O’Connor, who is currently training for a spot on the 2012 summer Olympic team, rejoins the Crimson after enjoying one of the most decorated careers in program history.

“I am extremely delighted and fortunate to have J.P. joining our coaching staff, he has meant so much to our program," Weiss commented. "Not only has he won on the biggest stage, he’s also a tremendous leader. Our student-athletes will be able to learn more than just wrestling from J.P. He brings a passion for the sport but also for the Harvard program. ”

O’Connor became Harvard’s third national champion in 2010 when he claimed the 157 lbs. title with a 6-4 win over Cal Poly’s Chase Pami. O’Connor finished his senior campaign with a perfect 35-0 record and was named both the EIWA and Ivy League Wrestler of the year. He is the only Crimson grappler to ever complete an undefeated season while his 35 wins that year rank as the fourth most in program history.

O’Connor completed his career at Harvard with a record of 132-16, ranking him first in career wins and second in career winning percentage (.892). He is one of only two wrestlers in Harvard history to earn all-America status three times and became the first Harvard freshman to do so in 2007 with his fifth-place finish at nationals. O’Connor is also the only two-time Ivy League Wrestler of the Year in Crimson annals and was a two-time team captain. His other accolades include being a four time All-Ivy League selection, being named the 2007 EIWA and Ivy League Rookie of the Year and taking home the 2010 William J. Bingham Award as Harvard’s outstanding male athlete.

As impressive as his career was on the mat, O’Connor’s career away from the mat was just as impressive. A three-time NWCA All-Academic and Academic All-Ivy honoree, O’Connor was also named to the 2010 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America First Team. He helped the Crimson to four consecutive NWCA Div. I All-Academic Team honors and following his senior campaign Harvard was recognized as having the highest GPA among all Div. I wrestling programs.

A native of Oxford, N.Y., O’Connor was a highly touted recruit out of high school. He is one of only three individuals in New York history to win four state championships and was a five-time sectional champion. He completed his high school career with a 238-12 record, was named first team all-America, was a member of the Amateur Wrestling News Dream Team and was a recipient of the 2006 Dave Schultz Athletic Excellence Award.

O’Connor earned his degree from Harvard in May of 2010 as a human evolutionary biology concentrator.