Wrestling isn’t just a sport to Anthony Schettino — it’s an analogy for life.
“You have that adversity, you really have to lean on resilience,” Schettino said. “We tell the kids: expect to hit those brick walls. What are you going to do? We try to teach them how to lean on that resilience — mental toughness — to get through the hard times.”
Schettino will be inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame on Oct. 1 in honor of his distinguished career as a wrestler and coach. Before then, he will be celebrated during the halftime of Schreiber’s homecoming football game on Sept. 24.
The National Wrestling Hall of Fame, established in 1976, seeks to preserve history and recognize excellence within the sport.
Schettino is a fourth-generation Port Washington resident. He started wrestling with the Port Youth Activities’ wrestling program as a fourth grader. After that, he competed in middle and high school, Southern Connecticut State University, New York Athletic Club and eventually, Team USA.
Schettino has been the wrestling coach at Schreiber High School for the past 31 years. He has also overseen and coached the PYA wrestling program for over 20 years.
“It’s me giving back to the sport, to these kids and what the people before me gave to me,” he said. “That’s part of it. If you want to be successful in the sport, you have to have a really insane level of commitment and dedication. We try to teach the kids that. The only way you can really teach that and instill that is if you are like that as well, right?”
He has spent the last two years as the owner and operator of Advantage Wrestling Camps, Section 11 USA Wrestling secretary and Nassau County Section VIII Wrestling vice president.
Schettino has also received three Nassau Coach of the Year titles, the Long Island Officials’ Association Sportsmanship of the Year Award and inductions into the PYA and Schreiber Athletic Hall of Fame.
Yet, he said that his upcoming induction doesn’t represent an end for him. Alongside his family, he said honors serve as sources of motivation.
“It definitely fills my cup,” said Schettino. “But my staff and I have a real focus. We have a mission statement and a focus on what we’re doing. I’m excited about what we’ve been able to do all these years. I’m excited about the future.”
The core premise of his mission is to create strong people. Not only on the mat but beyond it. Schettino looks at how students carry themselves alongside their performances. He said when focusing on the complete individual and not just the wrestler, they succeed more.
“When I started this whole coaching career, I think my focus was more on success on the mat. That has evolved over the years,” he said. “Now, my focus and my staff focus more on trying to teach these kids to just be great people. To be the best versions of themselves, like, hey, let’s kick butt in the classroom. Because hard work is the greatest equalizer in life.”
His peers have also recognized him for the path he has paved and is still paving for others.
“Coach Schettino has been a gift to our Port community and student-athletes for several decades,” said Port Washington Superintendent Michael Hynes. “It is amazing to think about the impact he has made for generations and hopefully for many more years to come.”
Athletic Director Nick Schratwieser said he is eager to share Schettino’s accomplishment.
“I’m incredibly proud to work alongside ‘Hall of Famer’ Coach Schettino,” he said. “His dedication to our wrestling program and the student-athletes involved is inspiring.”