The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Breaking News

Local Sports

November 15, 2012

VIDEO | UPJ wrestling coach uses same approach in hospital as on mat

JOHNSTOWN — Pitt-Johnstown’s wrestlers know just how tough Pat Pecora is.

They see it during every practice, as the longtime coach pushes them mentally and physically as far as they think they can go – and then pushes them a bit farther.

So, when David Fogle and Travis McKillop, found out over the summer that the Hall of Fame coach had lung cancer, they came to a similar conclusion: The disease never had a chance.

“At first it was tough, but when it came down to it, Coach is a tough guy,” said Fogle, a 133-pound junior from Forest Hills.

“He’s mentally prepared for any challenge that comes his way. Just being hopeful and faithful, knowing that he’ll get through it, because he teaches us self-reliance and perseverance through anything. He’s a man of his word and he lives his life like that. I wasn’t really worried. We knew he’d be fine. He’s a tough man.”

Season preview: Young Mountain Cats looking to make their mark

For McKillop, who had just completed his freshman year as an All-American 174-pounder under Pecora, hearing the diagnosis was difficult.

“When I found out, my heart stopped,” McKillop said. “Coach is the reason I came here. He’s like a second father to me. I put my heart and soul and I trust him to death. Anything he tells me to do, I do and I do it as soon as he tells me to do it. I don’t second guess him at all.”

He also never second guessed Pecora’s will.

“I just had this gut feeling that he was going to get through that,” McKillop said. “He’s one of the toughest guys I’ve ever met.”

On Wednesday, as the Mountain Cats prepared for their first dual meet of the season on Friday at West Liberty, the 59-year-old Pecora was there, running the workouts as he has for the past 37 seasons.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Poll

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide