Personal Memories of Penn State Wrestling

Scott Lynch (by John Harrison) (1984)
Courtesy of John Harrison
Read full spotlight at: http://www.nittanyliongrappling.org/lynch.html

The Penn State wrestling philosophy states that Penn State's quest for national dominance will be done with "... (1) good, honest people who strive for excellence in all areas of life, (2) good students in pursuit of a degree in their area of interest, and (3) wrestlers who make the full commitment to be the best they can become." Scott Lynch is a perfect example of such a person; during his years at Penn State he won a National Championship and was both a top notch student and a classy individual.

Scott typified all the important things about being a student-athlete. He was a three-time All-American, but he also dealt with setbacks and pain successfully--while succeeding in the classroom. He is just the kind of guy we're proud to say is part of the program.
-former PSU head coach, Rich Lorenzo

Scott wrestled at Penn State from 1980-84. He had to sit out the 80-81 season after transferring to Penn State from the Naval Academy. He was a two-time EWL Champion and a three-time All-American finishing, sixth, fourth and first in the country.

Scott's greatest asset was that he had perfected his technique. He could perceive his opponents' moves before they happened and counter them. And he knew the angles and leverage factors inside out.

He graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering and was awarded an NCAA Post-Graduate scholarship. He then gained a Master's degree in Electrical Engineering from Penn State before graduating from the University of Pittsburgh's Medical School. After his residency he completed a one year fellowship in Sweden and is now employed as an orthopedic physician at Penn State's Hershey Medical Center.

Scott, how did you get started in wrestling?
When my father (the former Mifflinburg, Pa. High School coach) held practice for the high school team, I'd be right there working out. I was in my first tournament when I was in the second grade. My father showed me most of what I know.

What are your best memories from the years you spent as a Penn State wrestler?
The best memories I have come from the friendships and comraderie that you develop on the team. Its funny but the most difficult experiences turn out to be the most memorable. Those are the kind of things that make you strong and realize that you can take anything.

How has the Penn State wrestling experience impacted your life/career?
I got into medicine largely because of my wrestling career. I was hurt "occasionally" and had several operations including a knee scope during my senior year of school. After enduring this, I became interested in medicine and decided it was my turn to hurt other people (:)), so I changed careers. Wrestling has continued to help open doors for me since then because most people recognize the dedication that wrestling requires. Even professional basketball coaches have commented that wrestlers work harder than athletes in any other sport and are better conditioned.

Do you still follow wrestling?
I try to still follow the sport as much as possible, though it is (and was) sometimes hard to get information, especially when I was in Vermont (for an orthopedic residency).

How has wrestling changed since you were a collegiate wrestler?
I think the biggest change is that there continues to be less and less emphasis on mat wrestling and getting off the bottom. Usually if you can't get out the referee will call the top guy for stalling and force him to let the bottom guy go anyway. I think if you can't get out you deserve to stay down there and be punished.

What advice do you have for collegiate wrestlers today?
My advice is to persevere, not only at wrestling but at everything you do. Life is full of ups and downs, so you just have to keep plugging away and things will eventually work out. The hard work, dedication and stubbornness that you need to compete in wrestling is applicable in every aspect of life. The self-confidence that I learned from wrestling continues to help me along in my career. There are people out there who will always try to tell you that you're not good enough or can't do something, and it is such a joy to prove those people wrong.

Thanks Scott!
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