DHS Wrestling Staff Profiles
Last Updated: December 31, 2022
MIKE SILVESTRI - HEAD COACH (2022-Present)
ASSISTANT COACH (2011-2013)
Mike completed a successful High School wrestling career at Danbury, in his 2 seasons as a varsity starter he compiled a 91-8 record. Where he was a team captain, 2X FCIAC Champion, State LL Champion, State Open Champion and 2X New England Placer. Mike went on to attend Penn State University where he received his Bachelor's Degree. Mike returned to Danbury as a volunteer Assistant Coach from 2011-2013 then in 2021-2022 served as New Milford High School’s Assistant Varsity Coach before assuming the position of Head Coach of Danbury for the 2022-2023 season. He is currently a Director, Executive Recruiting in Brookfield.
KEITH LYNCH - ASSISTANT COACH (2016-Present)
Keith completed a successful High School wrestling career at Danbury where he was a team captain, FCIAC Champion and 2X State LL Champion. Previous coaching experience: Bethel HS - Assistant Coach (2014-2016)
State Class LL Assistant Coach of the Year – 2019, 2020
National Wrestling Coaches Association, CT Assistant Coach of the Year - 2019
THOMAS FERRELL – ASSISTANT COACH (2021-Present)
Tom was an accomplished high school wrestler and football player for New Milford High School. All-SWC, All-State, All-New England, and All-American are just some of the accolades amassed while at New Milford and then a postgraduate year at Blair Academy. He was inducted into the New Milford Athletic Hall of Fame. Tom attended the University of New Hampshire to play football and received a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology. He has coached football, wrestling, and track & field for the better part of a decade at New Milford and Wilton High Schools. Tom received his Master’s Degree in School Counseling from Western Connecticut State University. He currently is a school counselor at Rogers Park Middle School in Danbury.
State Class L Assistant Coach of the Year - 2015, 2016
PATRICK LARKIN - ASSISTANT COACH (2022-Present)
Pat is a former DHS wrestler, graduating in 2002. Larkin went on to attend Wagner College where he wrestled for 4 seasons at the Division I level.
ABI SCUDDER - STRENGTH COACH (1992-Present)
Abi signed on with Danbury Wrestling in 1992 and the positive results of her contributions are evident in the improved physicality of the DHS team. As an instructor, spotter and motivator she is an expert. Abi's own personal accomplishments are very impressive. She holds many titles as a State Champion in power lifting in Connecticut (at 105 pounds) and has qualified for the Nationals many times. In addition to her work with DHS wrestling, Abi has also served as a strength trainer for other power lifters, gymnasts and swimmers. Over the past decades Abi has become an integral part of the success of Danbury's entire program.
RICK SHOOK - HEAD COACH (1999-2022)
ASSISTANT COACH (1988-1999)
After completing a tremendously successful college wrestling career at Central Connecticut State University, Rick became Danbury High School's Assistant Varsity Coach in 1988. After 11 years in that capacity, Rick assumed the position of Head Coach for the 1999-2000 season. He has continued to guide the team in its winning ways, through the 2021-2022 season posting a 391-25 win/loss record during his tenure as Head Coach. Guiding Danbury to multiple FCIAC, State LL and State Open team titles in those years and three New England championships in 2017, 2019 and 2020. Rick wrestled for Danbury High School and his 58-5 high school win/loss record speaks for itself. Rick was a 2X FCIAC Champion and a State LL Champion in his senior year. In his final year at Central Connecticut State University, Rick was team captain and MVW, posting a 17-10 record en-route to a third place finish at 118 pounds in the Division I Eastern Regionals. He also finished third in the Division II Eastern Regionals during his junior year. Rick graduated from Central in 1987, with a B.S. in Management. After 30+ years on Clapboard Ridge, Ricky has stepped away and is enjoying retired life in North Carolina with his wife and daughters.
State Class LL Head Coach of the Year - 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
State Class LL Assistant Coach of the Year - 1997, 1998, 1999
CT Assistant Coach of the Year - 1999
CT Head Coach of the Year - 2000, 2007
All-Area Coach of the Year - 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006
FCIAC Coach of the Year - 2004, 2005, 2012, 2014, 2017, 2019
FCIAC Winter Sport Coach of the Year - 2005, 2014
FCIAC Hall of Fame Inductee - 2018
Connecticut High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame Inductee - 2016
Doc McInerney Male Coach of the Year - 2008
New England Wrestling Hall of Fame Inductee - 2017
National Wrestling Coaches Association, CT Head Coach of the Year - 2008, 2009, 2019, 2020
National High School Athletic Coach Association, Finalist - 2008-09
National High School Athletic Coach Association, Coach of the Year - 2019
National Wrestling Hall of Fame, CT Chapter Inductee – 2013
CT Sports Writers Alliance (CSWA) Gold Key Award - 2021
JAMES ASCONE - ASSISTANT COACH (2015-2018)
James is a former DHS wrestler, where he was FCIAC Champion and 3rd in CT State LL his junior year. Ascone went on to attend Western Connecticut State University where he received his Bachelor's Degree in Health Education. James is currently a Health Education teacher at Danbury High School.
State Class LL Assistant Coach of the Year - 2016, 2017
GARY TILBE - ASSISTANT COACH (1999-2004, 2015-2018)
Gary is a former DHS wrestler with extensive coaching experience: Pomperaug HS - Head Coach (1984-1990), Fermi HS - Assistant Coach (1995-1999), Danbury HS - Assistant Coach (1999-2004), Nonnewaug HS - Assistant Coach (2007-2011, 2014)
State Class LL Assistant Coach of the Year - 2002, 2004
State Class S Assistant Coach of the Year - 2009 (Nonnewaug)
CT Assistant Coach of the Year - 2002
NWCA Regional Assistant Coach of the Year - 2002
PAUL PURDY - ASSISTANT COACH (2016-2018)
Paul wrestled for the Brewster Bears from 1997-2000. At the culmination of his high school career he was inducted into Brewster's Athletic Hall of Fame for wrestling and lacrosse. He furthered his lacrosse career at Springfield College where he received All America accolades his senior year. At Springfield, Coach Purdy earned a Bachelor's degree in Physical Education. Paul currently teaches Physical Education at Danbury High School.
MATT LASKOWSKI - ASSISTANT COACH (2005-2015)
Matt is a former DHS wrestler, where he placed 3rd in the FCIAC and 6th in the State LL his senior year. Matt went on to attend Springfield College where he received his Bachelor's Degree in Physical Education. Matt competed on Springfield's wrestling team during his Freshman year at 149 pounds. During his Junior year, Matt was hired as the assistant wrestling coach at South Hadley High School in Massachusetts. Currently an administrator in Stamford.
State Class LL Assistant Coach of the Year - 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010
National Wrestling Coaches Association, CT Assistant Coach of the Year - 2008, 2009
NICK WEYER - ASSISTANT COACH (2008-2012)
Nick completed a successful High School wrestling career at Danbury where he was a team captain, 4X FCIAC Champion, 3X State LL Champion, State Open Champion and 2X New England Placer.
STEVE KAPLANIS - ASSISTANT COACH (2004-2005)
Steve was a DHS graduate. While at DHS he earned varsity letters in football, wrestling, and baseball, but he is remembered for his community service. In 1976, Steve was one of the founding members of the Danbury Athletic Youth Organization (D.A.Y.O.). Steve coached DAYO football for twenty years, from 1976-1997. His overall record was 200 wins and 9 losses. His teams played in two national Pop Warner championship games, winning in 1990 and losing in 1995 to the Elgon, Illinois Steelers. His teams were five time New England Regional Champs and won the Candlewood Valley League an amazing sixteen seasons. Aside from his youth football, Steve also coached bambino baseball and youth wrestling. He coached at the Joe Namath football camp for over fifteen years. As the head football coach at Immaculate High School from 1997-2005, his teams won six divisional championships and qualified for the state championship in 1997.
State Class LL Assistant Coach of the Year - 2005
MARK TOLLA - ASSISTANT COACH (1999-2001)
Mark is a DHS graduate. While at DHS, Mark was a standout 3-sport athlete. He was starting quarterback for the football team his senior year, wrestled 2 years of varsity at 147 pounds and was undefeated his senior year before a dislocated shoulder ended his season. A 3 year starter for the baseball team and senior captain, Mark played 2 years of Division I baseball at UConn.
JOHN NIMOCK - HEAD COACH (1992-1999)
CT Head Coach of the Year – 1997, 1999
MIKE MORRIS - HEAD COACH (1979-1991)
New England Wrestling Hall of Fame Inductee - 1997
National Wrestling Hall of Fame, CT Chapter Inductee - 2010
JAMES TROCOLLA - HEAD COACH (1972-1978)
ERNIE GUCKEL - HEAD COACH (1970-1971)
BOB GILCHRIST - HEAD COACH (1968-1969)