Trinity High School's wrestling squad
qualified for the WPIAL team championships 19 times in the 20 years John
Abajace was the Hillers head coach. His teams were WPIAL finalists in
1988 and 1990, were among the top ten in the state on a number of
occasions and the 1980 squad was a PIAA runner-up.
Abajace-coached Trinity teams have won the Western and Big Ten prep
conference titles, and the California Christmas, Eastern Area, St. Johns
and Indiana County invitational tournaments. In two decades at Trinity,
Abajace has coached individual wrestlers to 50 Sectional championships
and 16 WPIAL titles. He has had nine state finalists and five state
John began his coaching career as an assistant at the University of
Pittsburgh in 1972, where he had the opportunity to work with NCAA
champions such as George "Fuddy" Bryant from Washington High School,
John Chatman of Trinity High and the current head wrestling coach at
Pitt, Randy Stottlemyer.
He spent two years as an assistant to Joe Shook at Trinity, 1976 and
1977, before accepting his first head coach position at Chartiers Valley
in 1978. The following year he won the top job at Trinity where he
remained until his retirement in 1999. His career coaching record is 284
wins, 85 losses and 3 ties.
In four years as a varsity wrestler at Trinity High School, John Abajace
never lost a dual meet match, while amassing a prep record of 80 wins,
four losses and a draw. He was a state champion, a state runnerup, a
three-time WPIAL champion, three-time Section champion and four-time
John won a full wrestling scholarship to Michigan State University,
where he never lost a home match, finishing with 30 wins, seven losses
and a tie.
He won a Big Ten Conference championship and was a Big Ten runnerup. He
was a Midlands Open champion in 1969, the same year he was named the
top-ranked NCAA 152 pound sophomore in the nation.