Tony Robie is in his 10th year at Virginia Tech, serving as the associate head coach of the Hokies’ wrestling program. Robie coaches the middle and upper weights, as well as working with team travel, equipment and recruiting.
The past three years, he has helped lead the program to three of top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships, two ACC team titles and an ACC dual meet title as 10 different student-athletes earned All-America honors. In 2011-12, he was instrumental in helping the Hokies place 11th at the NCAA Championships.
In 2013-14, senior Chris Penny came from no where to win an ACC title at 197 pounds and help lead the Hokies to a conference team crown and then went on a roll at the NCAA Championships, making a run as the No. 14 to the national semifinals, earning All-America honors. Pete Yates, a 165-pounder, flourished under Robie’s tutelage in earning two All-America medals, two ACC titles and an ACC Wrestler of the Year honor. Last season, 174-pounder Zach Epperly took seventh-place honors at the NCAA Championships as a redshirt freshman, pulling several upsets along the way to reach the podium.
While in Blacksburg, Robie has helped coach 10 All-Americans to 14 spots on the podium: Yates (twice), Jarrod Garnett, Nick Brascetta (twice), Devin Carter (three times), Zach Neibert, Penny, Joey Dance, Epperly, Ty Walz and Chris Diaz.
Robie came to Blacksburg after serving as the head coach at Binghamton University in New York. A two-time collegiate All-American and 1997 NCAA runner-up, Robie took over a program that had been discontinued after the 2003-04 school year because of budget constraints. Before taking over at Binghamton, he was an assistant coach for four seasons at the University of Michigan.
In seven years as a Division I assistant coach prior to coming to Blacksburg, Robie helped coach 23 All-Americans, nine Academic All-Americans and one national champion. As the Wolverines’ top assistant coach, Robie recruited three top-10 classes, including the No. 2 ranked class in 2004. His one-on-one work with Michigan student-athlete Ryan Bertin culminated with Bertin’s 2003 NCAA championship – the school’s first national champion in 18 years. In all, Michigan’s team earned national top-10 status all four years that Robie was a coach there.
His dedication and influence off the mat resulted in the wrestling team winning the 2003 community service award at the school.
?A world-class wrestler in his own right, Robie racked up an 126-23 record on the collegiate mat, and was a two-time All-American. A two-time captain for former Olympic gold medalist Bruce Baumgartner at Edinboro University, Robie was a three-time Eastern Wrestling League Champion and a three-time Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) champion. As a senior, Robie led the Fighting Scots to a sixth-place national finish – the highest in school history and was the national runner-up. He ranks fourth on the school’s all-time wins list and went on to earn a bronze medal at the 1998 U.S. Open Freestyle Championships. In 2008, he was inducted into the Edinboro Sports Hall of Fame.
A native of Erie, Pennsylvania, Robie was a Dean’s List student at Edinboro and received the school’s Academic Achievement Award before graduating with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in 1997.
Robie brings strong ties to the eastern wrestling hotbed as he also served as an assistant coach at West Virginia (1998-99) and Edinboro (1999-00). During his time at Tech, the Hokies’ recruiting has flourished with a top-25 recruiting class each year, including six classes rated in the top 11 nationally.
Robie and his wife Jennifer reside in Christiansburg with their three children: Nate (15), Luke (12) and Jake (9).