Massapequa wrestling is a program rich with history and tradition that dates back to the 1950’s. The Massapequa Wrestling program, comprised of all freshmen, began in 1952 under the leadership of Coach Len Connor.
In 1955, Bill Devaux took over as the head coach and managed the program through 1957, which included the first graduating class in 1956. John Haas officially took over as the head coach in 1958 and continued until 1962. Coach Haas developed a style and philosophy that became the building block of the program.
In 1963, former wrestler Al Bevilacqua took over as the head coach. Wrestling grew and flourished at Massapequa under the leadership and program development of Coach Bevilacqua.
Years later, another former wrestler, Gary Mims would become an assistant coach and help Coach Bevilacqua turn Massapequa into a wrestling powerhouse. Mims would go on to become the head coach in 1978 and guide the program through 28 successful years up until his retirement in 2006.
In 2006, Joe Catalanotto took over as head coach at Massapequa. Prior to 2006, Coach Catalanotto had been the Junior High coach for seven years and an assistant with both the Varsity and Junior Varsity programs at Massapequa. Coach Catalanotto wrestled for East Meadow High School where he was a Nassau County Champion, placed third in the New York State Tournament and amassed 98 wins during his career. After high school he attended Central Connecticut State for two years where he placed fifth at the East Coast Wrestling Association Championships in 1996. When Central Connecticut dropped its wrestling program he transferred to Hofstra where he went on to take first place at the ECWA Tournament, fourth place in the New York State Collegiate Championships and qualified for a trip to the NCAA Championships in 1997.
Following the conclusion of the 2012 - 2013 season, Coach Catalanotto stepped down as head coach. Shortly after, Coach Serrano was elevated from assistant coach to the head varsity coaching position. Coach Serrano brings a wealth of experience, knowledge, and enthusiasm to the program. He will focus on building and developing the program’s foundation for the future. Coach Serrano wrestled at MacArthur HS for Hall of Fame Coach Howie Greenblatt, placed 4th in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association State Championships and went on to wrestled for and graduate from Cortland State University. Coach Serrano was a three year captain at Suny Cortland and became the wrestling program’s first ever 3X Scholar Athlete All-American. Coach Serrano will be surrounded by one of the most impressive coaching staffs in the state. Head Football Coach Kevin Shippos returns and brings with him a wealth of experience. Coach Shippos was a New York State Public High School Athletic Association State Champion and a National High School Coaching Association National champion before wrestling at and graduating from Penn State University. Junior High Wrestling Coach Mike Labella will also be back to assist Coach Serrano. Mike was a 2X Nassau County Section 8 Finalist and New York State Public High School Athletic Association State Champion before wrestling at and graduating from Edinboro University. Also joining the staff this year will be Phil Soman, Mike McCann, Robert Tobia, John Hamilton (jr. High) and Howie Greenblatt. Phil placed 6th in NYS in 1998 and won both champion of champions and most outstanding wrestler awards after his memorable county final win. Mike graduated from Mepham High school where he won two Nassau county titles and was a 3X All-county honoree. Both John Hamilton and Howie Greenblatt are Long Island/New York State coaching legends and Members of the National Coaching Hall of Fame. Their accomplishments and achievements as head coaches are way to long to list, but their wealth of experience and knowledge will prove invaluable to Coach Serrano and the program.
To find out more about the history of Massapequa's coaching click on the "History" Tab or go to the "Bulletin Board" and click on the Drop Down Tab for "Special Recognition".