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Pritts is regarded as one of the top recruiters in the nation and brings 14 years of coaching experience to the program.
Sept. 4, 2012
TEMPE — The Arizona State University wrestling program has named fourteen-year coaching veteran Lee Pritts as its newest assistant coach, ASU head coach Shawn Charles announced today.
Considered one of the top recruiters in the country, Pritts joins the Sun Devils after spending the past two seasons in Raleigh with the North Carolina State program. He will coach alongside Charles and fellow assistant coach Brian Stith for the upcoming 2012-13 season.
Prior to his time at NC State, Pritts spent nine years and two stints at the University of Missouri. He also worked three years as an assistant at Old Dominion.
“We are proud to announce that we are hiring Lee Pritts to the team to help us build the program into one of the prominent ones in the country,” Charles said. “He is probably one of the top five recruiters in the country, is constantly identifying talent and Arizona State has one of the best backdrops to recruit kids to. It is really just a perfect match.”
Pritts forged a reputation as one of the top recruiters in the country during his first stint at Missouri (1998-2004). He built on that reputation at Old Dominion and again in his second stint at Missouri. His recruiting skills paid immediate dividends at NC State.
With Pritts spearheading NC State’s recruiting efforts, the Wolfpack brought in a 14-man class two seasons ago that was a consensus top-10 class consisting of numerous high school All-Americans and/or multiple-time state champions. The Sun Devils look forward to seeing what that recruiting prowess can bring to the desert.
“I’m excited and this is an unbelievable opportunity. I worked with Shawn at Missouri and I can’t wait to work with him again,” Pritts said. “It’s a special place here in Tempe with an unbelievable atmosphere.”
“Not only is the athletic department successful on the field or on the mat, but the university graduates just about 80 percent of its student-athletes and that’s something that really impressed me.”
Pritts began his career as an assistant to Tigers head coach Brian Smith and helped to turn around the Tiger wrestling program, recruiting some of the best high school athletes in the nation and molding them into NCAA All-Americans.
In 2004, Pritts left Missouri and became an assistant coach at Old Dominion University, where he helped build two top-10 recruiting classes. During his three-year tenure at ODU, the Monarchs sent nine wrestlers to the NCAA Championships. In 2008, James Nicholson, whom Pritts helped to recruit, became the first Monarch All-American in 13 years.
Pritts returned to Missouri at the start of the 2007-08 campaign and in three years helped coach seven Tigers to a total of 10 All-America honors. During that stint at Missouri, Pritts actually coached alongside Charles
During the summer of 2009, Pritts coached Tiger heavyweight Dominique Bradley to a FILA Junior World Freestyle Championship title. Earlier in the year, Bradley took gold at the FILA Junior World Team Trials held in Colorado Springs, Colo., earning a spot on the United States Junior Freestyle National Team.
During his time as a coach, Pritts has put together quite the resume of prospects, many of whom have gone on to successful careers beyond their times at the collegiate level. Among those:
• Max Askren (184) – three-time All-American (2008, 2009, 2010), NCAA champion (2010), Co-Founder if Askren Brothers Wrestling
• Scott Barker (184-197)– two-time All-American (2002, 2003), NCAA runner-up (2003)
• Matt Pell (184-165) – two-time All-American (2005, 2007), Coach
• Ben Askren (174) – two-time NCAA champion (2006, 2007), four-time All-American (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007), Olympian, MMA (Bellator), Coach
• Raymond Jordan (184) – two-time All-American (2008, 2009), Coach
• Jeremy Spates (149) – All-American (2004), Assistant Coach at Cornell University
• Tyron Woodley (165) – All-American (2003, 2005), Strikeforce
• Kenny Burleson (157) – All-American (2004)
• Michael Chandler (157) – All-American (2009), Bellator Lightweight Champion
• Darrius Little (141) – All-American (2012)
• Mark Ellis (HWT) – NCAA Champion (2009), All-American (2009, 2010), Missouri Coach
Pritts attended Eastern Michigan University, where he wrestled at 118 pounds. He was a two-time team captain and made three appearances in the NCAA Championships, earning All-America honors in 1996. In addition to his collegiate accomplishments, Pritts qualified for the 2000 Olympic Trials.
Pritts was coached by Smith during his high school career at Western High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
A native of Fort Lauderdale, Pritts is married to the former Krista Kapeller and has two children, Briggs, age 7, and Kelbi Gracin, age 4.