Jordan Kutler’s collegiate career did not end the way he wanted it to due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But the two-time NCAA All-American and Lehigh grad isn’t ready to hang up his shoes just yet.
After he was approved by the school board, Kutler became the first-ever Easton High School girls wrestling head coach.
While he has a full-time job in medical sales, he said he wants to coach the team to help others reach their goals and give back to the sport.
After being surrounded by many great coaches throughout his career, Kutler said he feels like he has to pay it forward.
While there are only three other girls wrestling programs in Pennsylvania, Kutler is optimistic that more schools in the state will jump on board.
“When things turn out to be successful, I hope there are other programs in the area that can look at me and be like, ‘Hey, he took a chance, why can’t we do it?’” Kutler said.
Due to there being limited schools with similar programs, the team will practice more than they will compete. But Kutler’s main goal to help grow the sport and program is to make it enjoyable for everyone.
“I’ve always been told, ‘If you’re not having fun with it, why are you doing it?’ It’s really fun to learn how to wrestle and perfect your craft,” Kutler said. “I’m just going to encourage people to get better every single day and have the attitude of getting better and having fun.”
While Kutler is stepping into a new program, he will be doing so with some familiar faces beside him. His longtime teammate, friend and roommate, Ryan Pomrinca, ‘20, will be his assistant coach, and Jody Karam, a long-time coach in the Lehigh Valley, will be the boys’ head coach.
Pomrinca and Kutler will be coaching the girls, but the two teams will work together with Karam to help each other out.
“It’s good because I’ve been with Jordan (Kutler) so I know him really well, and we know each other really well and our coaching styles, our wrestling styles, so we can work off each other,” Pomrinca said.
Lehigh wrestling head coach Pat Santoro has coached many athletes and worked alongside many coaches, but thinks Kutler has the potential to be one of the best coaches in the country.
“His opportunity to coach the Easton women’s team is a no-brainer,” Santoro said. “I think he could be one of the best coaches in the country.”
This may be Kutler’s first official job as a coach, but he’s been giving private lessons and coaching at camps for years to help prepare for this.
When Santoro would need someone to demonstrate a drill in practice, Kutler would be the first one Santoro would look to for help.
Kutler said what helped prepare him to become a coach is the culture and the coaches he was surrounded with at Lehigh.
He said he believes Lehigh has the best coaches in the country.
“Coach Pat (Santoro) is a firm believer in the culture of his team. He looks for the right people to be a part of the Lehigh wrestling program,” Kutler said. “He cares about his athletes more so than just athletes and wrestling. I think that’s how a program should be run.”
Kutler’s advice to schools thinking of starting a girls wrestling program would be to go all in.
“Girls wrestling has grown so much at least since I’ve started wrestling to now,” Kutler said. “You know there’s girls out there wrestling and teams that are having success, so my advice would be to pull the trigger. I think it’s only going to help grow the sport more, and we need more people willing to grow the sport.”