BEDFORD, N.Y. -- Anthony Rodrigues has enjoyed being an assistant varsity wrestling coach, first at New Rochelle and the last 11 years at Fox Lane. Now, Rodrigues has earned his opportunity at a head job.
Rodrigues has been named the new Fox Lane varsity wrestling coach, replacing the legendary Joe Amuso, who retired after 41 years as the Foxes leader. Amuso is the winningest coach -- 406 victories -- in Section 1 history and is a member of the New York State and Section 1 wrestling halls of fame.
Having to replace Amuso is a difficult position for anyone, but Rodrigues said he is prepared.
“The dynamics of the room will not change. It is going to be weird without Joe there. I have been blessed to have learned so much from Joe and very fortunate to have worked for him," Rodrigues said. “Going forward, the formula will remain the same. It will be about working hard and doing the little things that we have always done to make us successful. The secret to our success has also been the way Joe managed the wrestlers and also worked with them.”
Senior and captain Tommy Grippi said he and his teammates are very happy that Rodrigues is their new coach. Grippi has known Rodrigues since he was seven and first started wrestling.
“He understands me and has always been there for me and I know that everyone on the team has developed a good rapport with him,” said Grippi, the 2012 Section 1 Division I 135-pound champion. “We didn’t want someone else coming in who we didn’t know.”
Not only did Rodrigues credit Amuso for shaping him as a coach, he also cited recently-retired 31-year New Rochelle wrestling coach Jim Guccione, who Rodrigues first began with.
“Everything I do from here forward is based on what I learned from Joe and Gooch,” Rodrigues said. “Between the two of them, they have close to 650 wins.”
Grippi said he is confident Rodrigues is going to be successful based on his commitment and contributions to the program as an assistant.
“He has always been a leader in the room and has pushed us to be the best we can,” Grippi said.