skip to main content

Kennedy Wrestling Coaches to Be Inducted into National Wrestling Hall of Fame

faculty thumbnail255202
Brian DeGaetano, the head wrestling coach at Kennedy High School, and assistant coach Peter Barros will be recognized with the National Lifetime Service to Wrestling Award, as well as an induction into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum.

While the Hall of Fame and Museum is based in Stillwater, Oklahoma, a banquet for the Downstate New York Chapter will be held on Long Island on April 13.

The Lifetime Service Award, which is also being presented to four other local individuals, honors coaches, officials, and contributors who have devoted a minimum of 20 years of service to the sport of wrestling.

DeGaetano is in his 30th year coaching wrestling at Kennedy, and his 29th year as the head coach. He is also a longtime physical education teacher at the school.

Only the third wrestling coach in Kennedy history, DeGaetano is the longest tenured head coach in the history of the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District and the longest reigning coach in Nassau County. He also has the second most wins of all head wrestling coaches in Nassau County, leading the Cougars to a 374-136-3 Dual-Meet record.

For his efforts, DeGaetano is a nine-timeConferenceCoach of the Year recipient and in 2022 received the Long Island Wresting Officials’ Association Sportsmanship Award.

“Of his many achievements, one of his greatest is preserving the rich history and tradition of Kennedy wrestling,” noted Principal Gerard Owenburg. “His lifetime commitment to all of the wrestlers he coached and those that wrestled before his time has created a culture of pride and tradition that is unparalleled anywhere else in Nassau County.”

DeGaetano helped establish an Alumni Club at Kennedy in 1996, connecting more than 500 wrestlers, bolstering connection and fundraising efforts. He also coordinates an annual Alumni Day, where former and current wrestlers come together for celebration and competition.

Barros has been involved with the sport of wrestling as a wrestler, official, and coach for 59 consecutive years. A former physical education teacher and head wrestling coach at districts across Long Island, Barros joined the Cougar wrestling program five years ago. Spanning his educational and coach career, Barros has influenced approximately 21,000 students.

“Coach Barros has had a tremendous career and has influenced thousands of student-athletes as a coach and mentor in the sport,” noted Board President Janet Goller at the Feb. 7 meeting.

Date Added: 2/15/2024

Our Schools