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Pat Glory is yet another Princeton All-American for the 2020 season. Glory is coming off of a 24-0 season in his junior year. Unfortunately, after such a fantastic season, Glory did not get to take his shot at the wrestling NCAA tournament.
Earning that All-American status was not what Pat Glory envisioned, however. Making a deep run in the tournament is the path that Glory envisioned to becoming All-American. But with COVID-19 canceling the entire season, he’s left with a fantastic season with no finish to it.
“It’s something that has an earned connotation to it, something that is not just given, it’s a whole year of culmination. Not even a year, it’s your whole life kind of working towards it and putting in the work so that you can achieve it. It was kind of leading up to that this year, the whole year, and leading up to the tournament, Then, you know, not being able to wrestle in something that you kind of have worked for years. It’s devastating. But, you know, it’s I’m really grateful that the NCAA has figured out a way to recognize it. In some way, shape or form, you know that the guys that you know have worked so hard this year are awarded.”
When we first started our interview I noticed Pat Glory was rocking a North Carolina Michael Jordan jersey. After watching the documentary on the Bulls trem, Glory says he was inspired.
“I was inspired after that a documentary that came out on ESPN this past week,” he said with a laugh.
Pat Glory Immersed At An Early Age
Like many collegiate wrestlers, Pat Glory started at a young age. Getting a head start in the sport gave Glory the opportunity to become an expert wrestler. He recounts his fortune being in such a good area he’s from, growing up in New Jersey, and having taken advantage of the youth programs available to him.
“Growing up now, I was just kind of always into sports. I was a little kid just kind of picking up a bat. My dad played sports in high school and stuff. He wrestled as well. He’s one of four boys in his family. So you can only imagine that household back in the 80s. You know, family wrestlers just scrapping it all the time and playing football. So I kind of just always had that kind of competitive knack from him and he got me into the sport at a young age. I think I was, a first grader and my local town has a really good youth program. So at the first grade level, they have a clinic program for, very, very beginners, which I know a lot of areas have. So I was really, really blessed to have a group like that in my hometown that I could just feed off of and learn from and grow, and then it kind of just took off from there.”
Now with all the downtime because of COVID-19, Glory is already trying to find new ways to fill time with new hobbies he’s wanted to do for some time. A collegiate athlete is already a super busy person with training, working out, and classes. But Glory finds ways to make it work and still find free time to pursue these interests.
“It is pretty much just video games and kind of hanging out with friends outside of wrestling because it took up so much time on top of schoolwork, obviously. That takes up over 50% of the time. Now that the coronavirus kind of ended everything that that was normal life to us. It just put me in a position where I had all this free time that I never had before. I was like, ‘Okay, what do I want? How do I fill this?’ So, you know, video games get boring after a while, you got to kind of figure something else out. I’ve just been like just writing down things that I wanted to learn how to do but never really had time to do. This is kind of like the world kind of stopped and that never really happens. I was kind of trying to take advantage of it as much as I can. One of them was learn the guitar. I’m just kind of picking it up to figure out how to play. I purchased online software to try to learn it. I’m trying to do like cooking. I don’t know how to cook outside of Kraft mac and cheese. My mom is Italian, she cooks everything. I’ve never really watched her cook and learn from her. I’ve been trying to do that as well and then just kind of just hanging out with family being in their presence as much as possible.”
As for the video games, Call of Duty’s Warzone update has taken it’s hold on Glory. “I’ve been playing Call of Duty like it’s it’s going out of style. It’s bad. So thank you Call of Duty for making me absolutely unproductive in this whole quarantine time, man.”
The Day The Earth Stood Still
Glory spent some time recounting the day the NCAA canceled the tournament, ending the 2020 season due to COVID-19. He remembers the day’s rollercoaster in its entirety. He gave a really awesome recap of how the day went down.
“We wake up and I got a workout in that morning. It was Thursday, I think, we actually had Spring Break the following week. We were leaving for Minneapolis. Early in the week, we get out there, start training and getting adjusted to the environment, stuff like that. So I got up early, I had to lose some weight, you know, being fat and all. So got in the room, got a workout in and got out. The coronavirus had been a thing since January but it was kind of like under the table no one was really talking about it. It wasn’t really a problem yet. And so that day, actually the night before the NBA had canceled their season because of Rudy Gobert episode that he had. He gave the Utah Jazz it, half their team had the coronavirus. He was making fun of it and joking about it. I think that just kind of started a spiral of athletic cancellations. The world kind of ended following that. I’m sitting in my dorm room with a couple of my teammates who were NCAA qualifiers and were just trying to get any kind of information possible about the situation. We’re on Twitter, scrolling through swiping, swiping, trying to get an update for three hours. We had heard Roman Bravo Young, who’s another wrestler at Penn State, direct messaged me on Twitter and was like, ‘Man, it’s over. I just talked to Kaleb [Romero], whatever.’ But nothing official had come out yet, so I was still saying optimistic. I was like, ‘There’s no way that’s true.’ Finally, the news broke and our hearts broke. It was like snapping the finger. Everything that you were looking forward to this year, the spring, your whole plan, everything that I had planned was just gone.”
Princeton Doing All The Right Things
The University of Princeton is doing all the right things with it’s wrestling program. In addition to Pat Glory being named All-American, Matthew Kolodzik, Quincy Monday, and Patrick Brucki also received All-American honors. The team put together a roster of fantastic wrestlers and all the All-American nominations prove it.
“I’m very happy with the things that we did as a program this year. It was it was pretty unprecedented. It was the most incredible thing I’ve ever been a part of, hands down. We haven’t beaten Cornell since 1986. It was a great year. What I’m trying to say is, is what this whole thing happened, it kind of made me look back and realize how good of a year it really was and how lucky I was to be a part of something so special. It’s very easy to look at the negative aspects of this whole situation. But it was a great year. 24-0, it doesn’t happen very often. I was blessed. I just really made me realize that how blessed was the year we really had, and I’m excited for next year.”
As for next year, Glory wants his shot at the national title. He has been working for this since he was a kid. Being only a sophomore in 2020, Glory has two very good years ahead of him and a shot at winning the title.
“That’s been the goal since I was a clinic wrestler and the Randolph Youth Program. I was actually coached by a national champ from Penn State, who was actually like my local youth coach. I was kind of inspired by him at a young age and kind of made me realize. It he kind of made that that goal real for me. So, that’s been my goal since then and nothing changes.”
Pat Glory believes in his system his coaching staff has put forth for the team. How can you complain? Glory has gone 30-7 his freshman year, and undefeated at 24-0 in his second collegiate season. The system has worked wonders for Glory and his skill. He plans on continuing his hard work next season.
“It’s cut and dry. Not hard, nothing complicated. You know our coach set the system. We trust in that system. We love working with each other. We love working hard. We all have a pretty similar goal in mind. It is be the best possible wrestler we could be and the best possible person we can be academically and in life. So it’s very easy to get along and to succeed with guys surrounded by you that have the same goals in mind.”
Going For Olympic Glory
The next step for a college wrestler is making a run at the Olympics. For Pat Glory, it is undecided if he will make a run at the trials. He has set himself up for a post-wrestler career. But, the Olympics are not out of the question for Glory.
“You know, I’m still still thinking about that. It’s something that’s been weighing on me, especially with all this free time of figuring out the future. It’s tough. I put myself in a position at Princeton so that following college, I could go on to the business world and get my feet on the ground running and just kind of take off from there. But at the same time, wrestling has been such an integral part of my life for so long that I don’t know what my life would look like without it. So yeah, it’s tough. It’s been a little stressful, trying to figure out what I want to do. There’s still time and I’m sure that I’ll be able to figure out how to make both work.”
Glory is thankful for the opportunity he’s had in life. He has been in a position to not want or need for much. His wrestling has brought him to where he is today.
“I’m blessed to be in a position where I have the ability to do all these things without worrying about where where foods coming from. There’s so many people that have it worse off than I do. So I mean, it’s just, I’m blessed to be able to do all the things that I do especially right now during these crazy times.”
The 2021 season may seem so far away due to the cancellation of the tournament, but it will be here sooner than we know it. Pat Glory will be looking to continue where he left off and make a run at the championship and see what the future beholds.
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