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Windham’s Patrick Risley to be inducted into CHSCA Hall of Fame

Windham High wrestling coach Pat Risley will be inducted into the Connecticut High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Windham High wrestling coach Patrick Risley will be one of 10 people to be recognized and inducted into the Connecticut High School Coaches Association (CHSCA) Hall of Fame on May 11 at the Aqua Turf in Southington.

The other Hall of Fame inductees will be Morgan girls volleyball and girls basketball coach Joe Grippo, Glastonbury swimming coach Suzanne Hoyt, Fitch cross country and track and field coach Richard Kosta, E.O. Smith boys basketball coach Ron Pires, Danbury High cross country and track and field coach Robert Murray, the late George Babcock, a long-time softball coach at Wolcott High, journalist Vicki Fulkerson of the New London Day, Pete Tucci, a veteran baseball and football coach at Norwalk High and James Riccitelli, a three-sport (hockey, football, softball) coach at three schools (Wilbur Cross, North Haven and Cheshire).

These 10 will be honored at the 45th annual induction ceremony and dinner on Thursday, May 11, at 6:30 p.m. “This Hall of Fame class is a legendary group of individuals that have contributed to education-based athletics throughout our state,” said Babby Nuhn, chair of the CHSCA Hall of Fame.

Risley will be the tenth wrestling coach to be inducted into the CHSCA Hall of Fame and the first since Killingly’s Rich Bowen in 2021.

“I love working with the kids trying to make a positive impact on their lives,” Risley said. “Wins are great but trying to develop good people has been one of my biggest things.”

Risley has been the head wrestling coach at Windham for 23 years and has led the Whippets to seven Class S state championships, including four in a row from 2013-16. Windham has finished second at the State Open twice and has won three Eastern Connecticut Conference championships in 2004, 2015 and 2015.

In 2019, he was named the National High School Athletic Coaches Association’s (NHSACA) national coach of the year. He was the NHSACA Region I coach of the year in 2006 and 2013. He has served on the CIAC’s wrestling committee for 24 years, serving as chair for 21 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2013.

Windham High coach Pat Risley celebrates after his Whippets won the 2018 Class S championship.

Risley has a career record of 525-176-7 that includes five years at Plainville (1989-93) before taking his current position with the Whippets in 1999.

Risley began his coaching career in Plainville, where he coached the Blue Devils in wrestling for five seasons. He was the first varsity boys soccer coach at Plainville and the freshman coach with the baseball team. Risley coached the Plainville American Legion baseball team for a time.

He came to Windham in 1994 and spent five seasons as an assistant coach to Hall of Fame wrestling coach Brian Crudden before taking over the program in 1999. Risley coached the middle school boys soccer program for 12 years and was the varsity girls soccer coach at least five years.

From 2006 to 2019, Risley served as Windham High’s athletic director. He was one of the rare ADs in Connecticut who also coached a varsity team. It’s virtually unheard of for an AD to coach two varsity programs and run an athletic department. He is currently an assistant principal at Windham High.

“I am completely honored and blessed. I have had great assistant coaches and wrestlers around me through the years,” he said.

Other inductees to be recognized with induction into the CHSCA Hall of Fame include:

The late George Babcock coached softball at Wolcott High School for 30 years, finishing his career with a record of 438-204 for a .682 winning percentage. He led Wolcott to a Class L state championship in 1992. His teams also won league championships in the NWC (1984) and NVL (2001).

Vickie Fulkerson is a decorated and trusted print sports journalist for the New London Day, working as a writer and editor covering Connecticut sports for 33 years. She currently serves as Scholastic Sports Editor for the paper, covering southeastern Connecticut high school sports and UConn women’s basketball.

Joe Grippo coached girls basketball for 34 years and girls volleyball for 33 years at The Morgan School.  In girls basketball, Morgan went 593-223, won two Class M state titles in 1996 and 2000 and seven Shoreline Conference titles. In girls volleyball, his teams went 620-104 and won 12 Class M state titles, including seven straight from 1992-98.

Suzanne Hoyt coaches swimming and diving at Glastonbury. She has coached the boys team for 32 years and girls team for 19 years. The boys team (354-65) has won 26 conference titles in the Central Connecticut Conference. The girls program (176-28-2) has won 18 CCC titles.

Richard Kosta has coached boys indoor track and field (32 years), boys outdoor track and field (19 years) and boys cross country (nine years) at Fitch along with 12 years of outdoor track and field at St. Bernard’s. He has led Fitch to five indoor track state championships, four outdoor track state titles along with 16 league championships in the two sports.

Robert Murray is a long-time boys cross country (17 years) and boys track and field (23 years) coach at Danbury High. His cross country teams have won four New England titles and six State Open titles. His boys indoor track team have won 12 State Open titles and his boys outdoor track team has won five State Open and eight Class LL titles.

Ron Pires coached boys basketball at E.O. Smith for 43 years (591-378), leading the Panthers to 12 North Central Connecticut Conference championships and six NCCC Tournament titles. E.O. Smith finished second in Class L in 1993 and 1994.

James Riccitelli coached boys hockey at Wilbur Cross (seven years), New Haven/Shelton co-op (12 years), North Haven (eight years) and Cheshire (six years). North Haven won a CIAC Division II title in 1980 and Cheshire won three state titles in 2006 (Division III), 2009 (Division II) and 2011 (Division I). He also coached football and softball at Wilbur Cross for 30 years.

Pete Tucci coached baseball (18 years) and football (14 years) at Norwalk High along with baseball (three years) and football (two years) at Central Catholic High in Norwalk. His Norwalk baseball team finished second in Class LL twice in 1993 and 1995 and won nine FCIAC titles.

Tickets are $65. For more information or to purchase tickets go to or email for Len Corto more information or group ticketing at [email protected]

Each inductee will receive a Hall of Fame ring and a plaques commemorating the careers of each inductee, which will be displayed at Rentschler Field at Pratt and Whitney Stadium in East Hartford – the site of the CHSCA Hall of Fame.

Founded in 1951, the Connecticut High School Coaches Association supports its member coaches and their student-athletes by offering ongoing educational opportunities, recognizing outstanding coaching achievements and providing general consultation and advice to its members.

Risley’s induction video


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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