Nicholas Garone, PMHS Class of 1986, achieved excellence as a nationally recognized wrestling star, very nearly reaching the pinnacle of his sport in 1992 by advancing to the finals of the U.S. Olympic trials, only to suffer an injury that forced him out of competition for a spot on the team that would go to the Barcelona Summer Games. Nick began wrestling at age 12, winning medals, trophies and special awards in every competition he entered. At PMHS, he earned All-League honors four times and was twice named All-County. In his senior year he won the championship of his weight class at every level of competition: League 1, Suffolk County Section XI, and New York State — the first Patchogue-Medford wrestler ever to dos o—and was named to the high school All-American wrestling team. Nick was also a six-time gold medalist at the Empire State Games, a three-time New York State freestyle champion and a three-time NYS Greco-Roman champion.
Wrestling for Syracuse University he was the 1988 NYS collegiate champion and, after transferring to Old Dominion University, he was the 1990 Virginia State champion, both times earning Outstanding Wrestler honors. In 1991 he was selected to the NCAA Division I All-America team, was an alternate on the U.S. team that competed in the Pan American Games in Cuba, and won a silver medal at the U.S. Olympic Festival.
After the injury that cost him his shot at the Barcelona Olympics, Nick shook off the disappointment and went into coaching, continuing his great success. At Syracuse he served as assistant wrestling coach while securing his master’s degree, and from 1993-96 he was an assistant coach at Georgia State. He is now in his 14th year as head coach of the boys’ wrestling team at Eastport-South Manor H.S., where two of his wrestlers won New York State championships earlier this year. They became the fifth and sixth state champions to be coached by Nick. Garone is also a member of the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame and a wrestling analyst for MSG Network. He lives in Patchogue and is the proud father of Bella, Gia, Rocco and Athena.