Coach Giani Back in the
Saddle for another Winter Campaign
In the midst of battle when Huntington wrestlers
look into their corner this weekend they can take comfort in knowing their coach
is one of the best in America. Lou Giani is back in the saddle and ready to
lead his charges through another winter campaign that all involved hope ends in
Giani is widely regarded as the greatest high
school wrestling coach in state history, and one of the top coaches in the
country. The local legend was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame
in Stillwater, Oklahoma four years ago, one of just a handful of high school
coaches ever to be so honored.
Entering the 2007 season Giani has coached 23
state champions – a state record – along with 34 state tournament finalists and
50 all-state wrestlers. “He’s the best there is,” assistant coach Travis T.
Smith said. “The proof is in the results. You can’t argue with success.”
Giani graduated in Huntington’s Class of 1953.
As a senior, he won the 141 lb. Suffolk wrestling championship and went on to
capture a Pan Am Games gold medal and a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. He later
earned undergraduate and graduate degrees at C.W. Post and Adelphi,
respectively. For many years he served as a physical education teacher in the
Five of Giani’s Huntington teams have won New
York State Intersectional Tournament championships. In 2002, Huntington became
only the fourth team in the 43-year history of the state tournament up to that
point to have three state champions in one year. Since 1990, Huntington has had
27 individual Suffolk champions and 12 second place finishers.
After a 19-year career with the Grumman
Aerospace Corporation during which Giani rose to Group Leader on the Lunar
Escape Module (LEM) project for NASA, he took on teaching and coaching and has
left a trail of greatness. He was the first Suffolk County champion from
Huntington High School, his son, Lou, Jr., was Huntington’s first state champion
and his other son, Joseph (now a Huntington assistant superintendent) was the
school’s first NCAA mat champion.
Desire, discipline, determination – these three
words summarize the philosophy that has carried Giani to a lifetime of
achievement as both a wrestler and coach.
His coaching accomplishments include:
A career coaching mark
in 39 seasons of 426-3461.
A league dual meet
record of 223-15.
A Suffolk record 183
A state record 23
state champs and 50 all-state wrestlers.
27 Undefeated seasons.
Nine Suffolk County
A Suffolk record 112
invitational tournament championships.
A record 59 individual
Suffolk County champions.
Nine of his teams have
won New York State championships. (Six state tournament – five public, one
private - and three first place state poll rankings.)
60 state tournament
Member, New York State
Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Member, Suffolk County
Sports Hall of Fame
On three separate occasions Giani has been
chosen as the National High School Wrestling Coach of the Year, most recently in
2002 by the National Wrestling Coaches Association. In every single area of
wrestling by which greatness is judged, Giani has produced impressive results.
When Blue Devil wrestlers glance to the corner
for reassurance this Saturday, they will have confidence knowing their coach is
the best there is.