Bill Racich
Bill Racich
Previous College: West Chester University

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Since Bill Racich became Ursinus College's head wrestling coach in the 1980-81 season, the team won more matches than in its previous 52-year history. He racked up 540 dual-meet victories in 40 years of coaching, ranking first in wins among all men's single-sport coaches ever to serve at the College, sixth on the NCAA's all-time list for all divisions, and second among all active coaches.

Racich started serving as the NWCA Division III Secretary from 2012 and also served as a member of the Division III wrestling Executive Committee. Additionally, he was a mentor in the National Wrestling Coaches Association Leadership Academy from 2013-16. 

Under Racich, the Bears won 11 Centennial Conference (CC) titles, including five consecutive from 2003-07 to become the only school in CC history to capture five straight titles. He coached 53 Centennial Conference champions and over two hundred Middle Atlantic and Centennial Conference place winners. Racich saw 16 All-Americans and two GTE- CoSida Academic All-Americans go through his program. In the CC, five Ursinus wrestlers won the prestigious Chris Clifford Award, while six others were named Outstanding Wrestler at the Championship meet. Racich coached at the prestigious NWCA All-Star Classic on two occasions, with All-Americans Chris Donaldson (125, 2013 at George Mason University) and Derek Arnold (149, 2015 at Georgia Tech University) representing the Bears.

In 2001, Racich was inducted into the Ursinus College Hall of Fame for Athletes. Perhaps even more impressive is the academic success his student-athletes enjoyed through the years. Under Racich, 74 Ursinus wrestlers were named NCAA Division III Scholar All-Americans, including eight in 2015.

During his 40 years at Ursinus, the Bears never had a losing season. Racich's 1988-89 team set the current standard of 21 dual meet wins. As a head coach, Racich was named Coach of the Year on thirteen different occasions while in the Pennsylvania Ches-Mont League, Middle Atlantic Conference, Centennial Conference, and NCAA East Regional. Under Racich's direction, Ursinus is the home of three highly competitive and prestigious wrestling tournaments; the Bears play host to the Fall Brawl, North-South Duals and the Will Abele Invitational. Racich also directed the Citrus Invitational held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida each December. Teams from all divisions have wrestled at the Ursinus College events, including national powers such as Wartburg, Augsburg, Wisconsin Lacrosse, Cornell College, Upper Iowa, F&M, and American University.

On the international scene, Racich was the Head Coach of the 2013 Division III Cultural Exchange team to visit France, Bulgaria and Turkey. His team won the George Kalchev International Freestyle tournament held in Varna, Bulgaria. Ursinus College was host to the USA – Russia World Dual meet in 1997 which was televised by ESPN2. Racich received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for his outstanding and invaluable service to the community from United States Congressmen Jim Fox following the USA-Russia World Dual meet. He is a USA Wrestling Bronze Certificate coach and in 1998 guided a College Exchange Team to the Dominican Republic which competed in Greco-Roman and Freestyle against the Dominicans and Cubans. In 2003 Ursinus College was an International Training site for the Freestyle World Championships. Teams training at Ursinus included the Men and Women’s 2003 World Freestyle Champions, Georgia Republic and Japan. The French Men and Women’s Freestyle teams also trained at Ursinus. Several Ursinus College wrestlers have travelled to Bulgaria, Turkey and Siberia to train with the Division III Cultural Exchange teams.

Such success was nothing new to the Ursinus coach. At West Chester University, Racich was a four-year varsity performer and was team captain in 1974-75. He was a four-time conference finalist and a two-time NCAA Division I qualifier. In 1974 Racich was a Middle Atlantic Conference champion at 118 pounds. His West Chester team was Middle Atlantic Conference Champions in 1971, 1972 and 1974. In 1975 he was the East Coast Conference Champion at 126 pounds and captained the team that defeated Minnesota, Northwestern, Purdue, Illinois and Indiana on a Midwest tour. In 1978 he placed fourth in the USA National Open Freestyle Championships at 136.5, helping his New York Athletic Club win United States Wrestling Federation Championships.

In addition to his wrestling accomplishments, Racich was a high level rugby player since competing for Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School in 1971 and a founding member of the West Chester University Rugby Club. Following college he continued his rugby career, playing for Turks Head RFC and then on to national power Philadelphia-Whitemarsh Rugby Club. His PWRFC team won the East Penn Rugby Union multiple times, captured the Can-Am Championships and USA East Region titles, placed second in the 1989 Men’s USA Rugby Championships, and in 1999 won the USA Rugby 7’s National title. He served as a 12-term President of the Philadelphia Whitemarsh Rugby Club and played on two tours to Europe, the North Sea Tour (1992) and the Stockholm International 10’s Championships (1996).

Racich demanded that his student-athletes produce in the classroom as well as in the wrestling room. All senior letter winners Racich coached graduated from Ursinus.

Racich was inducted into the Conshohocken Sports Hall of Fame (1986), West Chester Wrestling Hall of Fame, Philadelphia-Whitemarsh Rugby Hall of Fame (1999), Plymouth-Whitemarsh Distinguished Graduates Hall of Fame, Ursinus College Hall of Fame for Athletes (2001), Southeast Pennsylvania Wrestling Hall of Fame (2003), Pennsylvania Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame (2003), the Division III National Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame (2003), and the Pennsylvania chapter of the National Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame (2018).

Racich was employed as District Chair for Health and Physical Education (K-12) in the Spring-Ford Area School District. He also served as the Middle School Athletics Coordinator and coached cross country and track in the district. His son Cole is a 2007 Ursinus College graduate and received his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Temple University in 2012.