Penn Charter wrestling coach Pete Shaifer OPC '82 won the award for Head Coach of the Year at the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Wrestling Tournament in late February. Shaifer’s fellow coaches elected him to receive the honor following a top-five performance by the Quakers at the event.
Shaifer has coached wrestling for 33 years at the high school and college level, including a stint as head coach at William & Mary. Five years ago, he took the reins at PC, where he also teaches middle school math.
Shaifer credits the team’s breakout performance at the PAISWT tournament with elevating him into the spotlight. The Quakers finished fourth out of 18 independent school teams, while nine wrestlers placed in their weight classes and qualified to participate in nationals. Historically, it was Penn Charter wrestling's highest number of qualifiers in more than 25 years.
“These guys really need to be celebrated for their successes,” said Shaifer. “This season has been one of many surprises.”
The Quakers knew they would be at a disadvantage going into the tournament as a small team with no year-round wrestlers. But, early in the season, they had identified “exceeding expectations” as a goal for this year. Shaifer sees last month’s performance as making good on that commitment.
“The kids we have right now wanted to be better, they wanted to be pushed harder. And they responded pretty well to that.”