Alex Tirapelle
Last College:
Illinois '06

Assistant Coach

2nd year

Two-time All-American Alex Tirapelle joined the Aggie wrestling coaching staff in July of 2008. He arrived at UC Davis after spending seven years at Illinois as a student-athlete, graduate student and member of the academic advising staff.

Tirapelle twice earned All-America status, captured two Big Ten titles and was named Big Ten Wrestler of the Year in 2004. As a freshman in 2003, he finished as the national runner-up and earned Illinois Freshman Male Athlete of the Year honors in the process. Tirapelle finished his career as the all-time leader with 128 wins while ranking second with an .877 winning percentage.

Along with his impressive athletic career, Tirapelle racked up several academic honors. He was a Big Ten All-Academic honoree all four years, plus a first-team All-Academic selection by the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) and first-team ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-American in 2006. In addition, Tirapelle captured an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Award.

For his overall accomplishments in athletics, academics and community service, Tirapelle earned the university's Spirit Award.

Tirapelle devoted one year as a graduate assistant and another as an academic counselor in academic services at Illinois. In his last two seasons in Champaign, he worked on his master's degree in sport management while serving as academic advisor for the Fighting Illini softball and wrestling teams. Tirapelle also kept his hand in the coaching arena, working as a summer-camp counselor and instructor for the wrestling team.

Joining the the UC Davis coaching staff marked a return to California for the 26-year-old Tirapelle, who won three state titles and a national title while starring at Clovis High School. He hails from a wrestling family: his father Stephen was a Division II All-American and head coach at Clovis HS, his older brother Adam won the 2001 NCAA title at 149 pounds, and his younger brother Troy was a national qualifier and Big Ten runner-up in 2006.