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New Canaan’s Paul Gallo steps down after 30 seasons

Bobby Rushton, left, and Paul Gallo, right, are swapping positions. Rushton will be the new head wrestling coach at New Canaan in December while Gallo, after 30 years at the helm, will be the assistant coach.

NEW CANAAN, July 31 – After 30 years as head coach of the New Canaan High wrestling program, Paul Gallo is stepping aside. Bobby Rushton, who has been the Rams assistant coach for the past six years, will take over beginning in December. Gallo will be the assistant coach.

“I thought I would step back, let someone younger take over and I can do all of the administrative things, help out at some practices and be there for tournaments,” Gallo told Dave Stewart of the Stamford Advocate. “We could have been head coaches but it’s important for him to learn to do everything. I’m still there to help out as a safety net but I want it to be for him.”

Gallo took over in December 1989 and has compiled a career record of 346-247-5 – an outstanding accomplishment in a tough FCIAC with Danbury, Fairfield Warde, Staples, Ridgefield and Trumbull. The Rams’ best dual meet record under Gallo came in 2009-10 when the Rams were 22-3.

The Rams won five consecutive FCIAC Eastern Division titles from 1995-99. They finished second in the FCIAC Eastern Division eight times since 2000.

In 2018, the Rams finished 12-3 during the dual meet portion of the schedule and took third at the FCIAC Tournament – their best showing in the tournament this century.

In March, Tyler Sung (145) became the second New Canaan wrestler to win a New England championship. Brett Wilderman (189) won a New England title in 1994.

Justin Mastroianni won a National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA) Freshman national championship at 132 pounds following his freshman campaign with the Rams in 2018.

Mastroianni was second at the NHSCA Sophomore Nationals in March while Sung was earned NHSCA All-American honors for the third straight season by taking sixth at 145 pounds in the Junior Nationals.

Stamford Advocate, July 31: Gallo, Rushton swap roles with New Canaan wrestling program


Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of Connecticut Wrestling Online. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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