Rocco Mansueto has entered private business but remains affiliated with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
An assistant to Mocs wrestling coach Heath Eslinger for four years, Mansueto has taken over full-time direction of Chattanooga Wrestling Camps in addition to starting a headphones-driven business.
"Our camps have grown and have become a huge boost to the wrestling program," Eslinger said. "They have allowed us to have assistant coaches over the last three years. The university has been good to us and given us another [coaching] position, but we want to try and grow."
The personable Mansueto handled a number of duties as an assistant. In addition to initially spending numerous hours in the practice room, he also was the team's recruiting coordinator and freed Eslinger for other chores by handling many of the administrative duties.
"Yeah, [the move] removes him from the practice room, but he had been out of the practice room because of his other duties," Eslinger said. "This is the perfect role for him. He'll still be connected to our program, but it allows him to do some things he's interested in outside of wrestling."
After Mansueto's hip replacement "about a year ago," he talked with Eslinger about a number of possible role shifts, including changing his title to director of operations.
"I felt my body was starting to break down, and I told Heath I wanted to ease my way out of college coaching," Mansueto said. "Even though my biggest role was administrative, it's hard not to be in the [practice] room. If I had stayed as director of operations, it would have kept Heath from bringing in another coach. We started talking about a year ago about the camps, and it came to fruition. Heath and I felt this was the best option."
Mansueto will be working toward building the existing summer camps, which brought 700 wrestlers onto the UTC campus earlier this year, but he also hopes to expand the scope of the program.
"It's gotten to the point where Chattanooga wrestling camps can be very good for the [UTC] program whether for coaching salaries or operating budget, but it needs a little more TLC," he said. "I think we could grow to a 12-month camps season and then clinics throughout the year."
The company in which he is involved sells a headphones/amplifier product and allows flipswrestling.com to help sponsor such wrestlers as Olympic gold medalist Jordan Burroughs.
Mansueto said profits earned through the website go back into the wrestling community.
Contact Ward Gossett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-886-4765.
Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...