The Godfather OF FLORIDA WRESTLING
FIRST UCF Wrestling Coach (1970-80)
UCF Hall of Fame, Class of 2003
Gerry Gergley started FTU's (now UCF) wrestling program in 1970 and coached until 1980. The wrestling program was later discontinued in 1985. He also started the men's golf program in 1979 and coached for two years, leading it to a Sunshine State Conference Championship. Displaying his knack for versatility, Gergley then became the school's first strength coach in 1983.
Gergley formed the wrestling program with no facilities and no scholarships. He compiled a 108-42 career record as wrestling coach and produced five All-Americans. His teams ranked among the nation's top-10, five times.
He built a trailer to house the team and talked the university into purchasing a mat for the team. Meanwhile, Gergley went to work on building the program by hosting dozens of camps and clinics for wrestlers, coaches, and officials at surrounding high schools. He ultimately convinced Orange County leaders to purchase 25 wrestling mats for high schools, giving him credit for starting wrestling as an interscholastic sport in the local county school system. As a result, this developed into a tremendous feeder system for FTU Wrestling.
Gergley started the fundraising program for UCF Athletics and helped Athletics Director Dr. Jack O'Leary in the planning of the first football team.
Without Gergley, there may not have been wrestling in Central Florida, no Johnny Rouse, or countless others that were privileged to be coached by him and learn the values of wrestling.
This is where the traditions started for wrestling at UCF.
Thank you, Coach Gergley. We all appreciate you.