It was announced Thursday Ecker, a Pottstown native and standout schoolboy wrestler, was hired by Alvernia University as its inaugural head coach. The announcement was made by Bill Stiles, Alvernia's Director of Athletics, and returns Ecker to the stomping grounds for the start of his storied mat career at both the scholastic and collegiate levels.
"First, I would like to thank Bill Stiles, Alvernia Athletics, and members of the search committee for believing in my vision to lead this program," Ecker said at the time of the announcement. "I was blown away on my visit with the quality of staff, coaches, campus community, growing athletics department and facility upgrades."
Ecker comes to Alvernia following a year as the assistant wrestling coach at the University of Maryland. There, he coached the program's first NCAA Division I All-American and Academic All-American in four years, Youssif Hemida.
"I'm elated to have someone of Seth's pedigree leading our wrestling program," Stiles said. "Not only was he a two-time national champion as a student-athlete, but he's been on the coaching staffs at some of the nation's strongest wrestling programs and conferences, including the Big Ten - arguably the best wrestling conference in Division I.
"And, as a Pottstown native, he has the contacts and network necessary to attract some of the top high school wrestlers in the region and beyond."
Prior to his time at the University of Maryland, Ecker was the head assistant wrestling coach at Ithaca College for two seasons. Under his guidance, Ithaca produced six Division III All-Americans and a national finalist.
Ecker is a graduate of Ithaca College, where he earned a degree in Business Finance and Corporate Accounting. He was a standout four-year member of the Bombers' wrestling program, the first wrestler in Ithaca's history to be a two-time national champion at 133 pounds. He finished his career with a 108-20 overall record. Ecker was a three-time NCAA Division III All-American, a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American and a three-time Scholar All-American. He was also named the 2012 Capital One At-Large Division III Academic All-American of the Year.
"I am honored for the opportunity to become a part of this departmen," he said. "Starting a new team will be a challenge and I am eager to bring my best every day to build a reputable wrestling program.
Ecker is a 2008 graduate of Pottstown, where he was one of the program's big stars. Wrestling from 103 to 125, Ecker was a four-time District 1-AA champion, a three-time Southeast AA Regional medalist - a champ his junior year - and a three-time PIAA Class AA medal winner.
Ecker's scholastic record of 130-18 - he was a combined 82-6 his last two seasons - ranks him among the Top 40 career winners in The Mercury's coverage area. He also stands among the Trojan program's career leaders.
"I am thrilled to return to my hometown area and am excited to work with the members of Alvernia University as we usher in Alvernia wrestling," Ecker said.
Wrestling will be Alvernia's 28th varsity sport, and it will begin competition in the 2019-20 season. Alvernia will be the sixth member of the Middle Atlantic Conference to sponsor varsity wrestling.
Messiah College earned the 2018 MAC Championship, followed by Delaware Valley, Wilkes, Lycoming and King's.