Carl Fronhofer was named the Andrew F. Barth Head Coach of Wrestling on June 30, 2011. Fronhofer first joined the Columbia wrestling coaching staff in August 2008 as an assistant coach.
Fronhofer boasts an impressive wrestling resume including All-America honors at the University of Pittsburgh, as well as also being a member of the US national team in 2009.
In continuing to build on the foundation of success Fronhofer created during his first two seasons, the Lions shined on the national level all season. As a team, Columbia knocked off Michigan State in dual action, 16-15, the first win over a Big Ten opponent since 1911. At Midlands, Columbia's three placewinners were led by Shane Hughes' (174 pounds) runner-up finish, the best finish ever for a Lion at the prestigous event. In the friendly confines of the Blue Gym, Columbia posted a 5-0 record in front of its home crowd to finish the dual season 8-6 and 5-5 in the EIWA. At the conference championship tournament, six wrestlers earned a spot on the podium, led by first-year Markus Scheidel, who took runner-up honors at 157 pounds. Scheidel, along with Hughes, Josh Houldsworth (165 pounds) and Zack Hernandez (184 pounds) each earned bids to the NCAA Championships in Oklahoma City.
In just his second year at the helm of Columbia wrestling, Fronhofer led the Lions to arguably the most successful season in the rich history of the program. At the EIWA Championships, four Lions punched automatic bids to the NCAA, with three grapplers reaching the finals of their respective weight classes. Not since 1912 has Columbia been represented in three EIWA weight class finals. Steve Santos '13CC (149 pounds), Jake O'Hara '13CC (157 pounds) Josh Houldsworth '14CC (165 pounds) and Matt Bystol '14CC (133 pounds) each earned auto bids to the NCAA Wrestling Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, with Santos winning his weight class to become the 19th individual EIWA Champion in program history.
Columbia also reached program marks at the NCAA Championships, as Stephen West '13CC joined his four teammates at the tournament when he received a wildcard selection from the NCAA. The five wrestlers competing at the NCAA Championships matched the program record set in 2005. Three wrestlers advanced past the opening day of the tournament - Santos, West and Bystol - but it would be Santos who would etch his name into the Columbia wrestling record books. The Brick, N.J. native defeated Minnesota's Dylan Ness in the third-place match on the final day of competition, becoming the highest place-finisher in Columbia history. Following the tournament, Santos was recognized by Flo Wrestling as the Most Improved Division I wrestler in the nation.
The Lions flourished in 2011-12, Fronohofer's first season as the Andrew F. Barth Head Coach of Wrestling. Columbia sent three wrestlers to the NCAA Championships in heavyweight Kevin Lester '12CC, 157-pounder O'Hara and 149-pounder Santos . All three advanced to the second day of NCAA competition and Santos was on victory shy of earning All-American status. The Lions went 8-5 in duals, 3-2 against the Ivy League and 4-3 against the EIWA. Columbia placed sixth as a team and had seven placewinners at the EIWA Championships.
Fronhofer made a major impact as a Columbia assistant coach from 2008-11. Working primarily with the Lions' upperweights, he helped coach heavyweight Ryan Flores to his Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) title in 2009. In doing so, Flores became the first Columbia wrestler to win a conference title since 1995. In 2011, Fronhofer coached Lester to unanimous first team All-Ivy League honors at heavyweight and to the Round of 16 at the NCAA Championships.
Fronhofer came to Columbia after spending the previous two seasons as the top assistant at Bloomsburg University. Prior to his time with the Huskies, Fronhofer spent three seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater, the University of Pittsburgh. During his coaching tenure, Fronhofer helped coach five of his student-athletes to All-American honors.
Fronhofer accumulated a record of 123-39 while wrestling for Pitt, ranking third in the Panthers' record book for wins. During that span, Fronhofer qualified for the NCAA's each of his four years.
He capped his illustrious career by earning All-America honors as a senior, after reaching the NCAA finals at 174 pounds. By doing so, he became the first All-American for the Panthers in three years, and was the first NCAA finalist for the program in 13 years. That same season, Fronhofer was named Academic All-American, and the 2003 Eastern Wrestling League Wrestler of the Year.
Fronhofer translated his collegiate success to the senior level as well, earning Greco-Roman All-American honors four times from 1999-2002 and Freestyle All-American honors in 2005. His placement at the US Open Championships qualified him for the US World Team Trials in 1999, 2001, 2002, 2005 and 2009.
In 2009, he qualified for the World Team Trials after winning the Northeast Senior Regional Freestyle Championships in early April. He went on to place second at the trials, earning a spot on the US National Team at 85 kilograms.
Fronhofer graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh in 2003 with a degree in sociology.