After guiding the wrestlers of Washington High School to a second WPIAL Class A championship in three years, Matt Midea retired from his position as a wrestling coach in 1998, following ten years as head coach and another eight as a Wash High assistant. in doing so, he left the sport at the top of his game.
Midea gave increased vitality to Wash High wrestling by hiring Frank Rotunda and Rich Burgdolt to work with the junior varsity squad, and later to move up as his assistants. Chris Tarr, a three-time PIAA medallist and two-time state runner-up from 1992-1995 helped Midea build on a rich little Prexie wrestling tradition.
He coached Wash High’s Aaron Gatten to state championships in 1995 and 1996, part of the 10 individual state medals won by Washington wrestlers during his tenure.
The Little Prexies had at least one wrestler win a medal at state in seven straight seasons, and had a wrestler in the PIAA finals from 1993 through 1997.
Coach Midea was part of six of the school’s nine WPIAL wrestling titles and the coaches and wrestlers from the 1999 team, which again won the WPIAL title, held in such esteem they presented Matt with a championship ring even though he had retired a year before.
Before coming to Washington Midea coached for three years at Wheeling Central in West Virginia, where his squads included the school’s only state champion.
He spent two years at Kenyon College.
A one-time football coach at McGuffey High, and previously at Newark, OH, Matt continues as an assistant coach of the Washington High football team, a spot he has held since 1981. He is now defensive coordinator.