Papadatos resigns as Hofstra head wrestling coach

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- Hofstra University Vice President and Director of Athletics Rick Cole Jr. announced today that head wrestling coach Dennis Papadatos has stepped down from his position in order to transition to a new role in the athletics department as the assistant director of athletics for athletic development and strategic partnerships.

"It is a bittersweet feeling because I love Hofstra wrestling with all my heart and soul," said Papadatos. "However, I had planned to move into an administrative role later in my career for quite some time. I wasn't expecting it to come about right now, but there was an opportunity that fit what I was looking for and allowed me to advance my career and stay at my alma mater. Sometimes timing is just acting on opportunity, and that is what my family and I decided to do. I am thrilled that Rick Cole Jr. and the rest of the athletic department leadership see value in me, and thought it was an opportunity that fit me as well."

Papadatos added, "Being the head coach of Hofstra wrestling has been a big part of my identity for quite some time and I am thrilled that I will still be a part of the program, just from a different lens and position. I want to thank all of my assistant coaches and student-athletes that made these past 10 years a rewarding experience and a dream come true. They all helped me to be ready to take on this new challenge and to be an advocate for the sport I love on the administrative side."

"We are excited to welcome Dennis to our administrative team," mentioned Cole Jr. "Dennis' long history with Hofstra University as a student-athlete and coach make him a great fit for his new position. His love for Hofstra athletics and his ability to connect with people will greatly aid in our mission to build champions in this new role."

Having completed his 10th season this past march, Papadatos compiled 62 dual match victories during his tenure and saw 16 wrestlers qualify for the NCAA Championships with Michael Hughes earning All-America accolades in 2018.

The team also fared well academically under Papadatos' watch. Hofstra has consistently been at the top of the rankings in team grade point average in the country among Division I programs, and has produced 18 NWCA Scholar All-Americans (24 selections) and 29 EIWA Academic Achievement Award recipients (56 selections).

Named the 12th head coach in the history of the Hofstra University wrestling program on August 4, 2014, Papadatos was a four-year starter at Hofstra under then-head coach Tom Ryan from 1997 to 2001 and recorded 95 career victories. He qualified for the NCAA Championships in 1999-00 at 157 pounds after earning a New York State championship and a second-place finish in the ECWA Championships. He returned to nationals as a senior in 2000-01 after winning the ECWA title with three straight victories. Papadatos was named to the ECWA All-Freshman Team in 1998 and was a three-time NWCA Scholar All-America selection.

Before returning to Hofstra in 2014, Papadatos served as an assistant wrestling coach at Northern Illinois (2004-06), Binghamton (2006-11), and North Carolina (2011-14). He started his collegiate coaching career as a strength and conditioning assistant at Hofstra from 2001 to 2004.

Papadatos graduated from Hofstra in 2000 with a degree in exercise physiology and completed a master's in health education at Hofstra in 2002 and one in higher education leadership at Hofstra in 2021.

A graduate of Island Trees High School in Levittown, New York, Papadatos and his wife, Angela, reside in Levittown with their three children - Gabriella, Apostoli, and Yianni.