Tommy Prairie concluded his second year as the Washington & Jefferson College head wrestling coach during the 2012-13 academic year.
In just two seasons, W&J wrestlers have made three NCAA Division III national championship appearances under Prarie's guidance. Josh Etzel '14 has twice qualified for the national tournament and became W&J's first All-American since 2002 after taking sixth place at 157 pounds in 2013. Etzel also earned a spot in the 2012 championship field at 141 pounds after claiming the NCAA Midwest Regional title.
Jacob Spearman '16 became the first W&J freshman in recent history to compete at the national championships after he took second place at the regional tournament in the 125-pound weight class. Spearman won one match at the NCAA championship.
Prairie's wrestlers have won four Presidents' Athletic Conference individual championships and his 2011-12 squad was honored with the PAC Sportsmanship Award.
A 2005 graduate of Williams College (Mass.), Prairie came to W&J after spending four seasons as the head wrestling coach at Plymouth State University (N.H.). This past winter, he helped the Panthers to their best finish (4th) at the New England Wrestling Association (NEWA) Championships since 2003. One PSU wrestler, Mike Willey, qualified for the NCAA Division III Championships after compiling a 21-match win streak.
Following the 2008 season, Prairie was honored as the NEWA Rookie Coach of the Year. Five Plymouth State wrestlers were named NWCA Scholar All-Americans under his leadership.
A 2001 Blair Academy (N.J.) graduate, Prairie was inducted into the New England Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2010. He had a standout career at Williams College as a three-time NCAA Division III All-American (125 pounds), becoming the first Eph wrestler to accomplish the feat. In 2005, he finished as the national runner-up and was named the South Jersey College Wrestler of the Year.
As a sophomore, he posted a 30-1 record and finished third at the national championships. He followed that season up with a fourth-place showing at the 2004 national tournament. Prairie owned a 106-8 collegiate record and was a three-time NEWA champion.
Prairie has also spent time as an assistant coach at Cumberland University (2005-06), where he earned his MBA, and Delran High School in New Jersey. Prairie attended Delran High School before spending one year at Blair Academy. At Williams, he earned his bachelor’s degree in political science. In 2009, Prairie was selected to the National Wrestling Leadership Academy.