We lost a great one this week. Paul Maltagliati passed away unexpectedly on June 25. Although I only had the honor of getting to know Paul this past year, I feel blessed to have been able to get to know him.
I do remember reading his name in the wrestling magazines when I was growing up. He did well in several styles of wrestling. He has more wins at Mason than any other wrestler in our history and was our first division 1 qualifier. He also wrestled with and against some of the greatest wrestlers during his time on the mat.
I met Paul at my introduction party to the Patriot Club members. He gave me a strong handshake, a wry smile, and a strong message to make the program grow. He volunteered to help. Although it is common for people to say they want to help, it is rare they really do want to put forth the effort. Paul was a definite exception to the norm.
Paul believed it was important for us to get a club program going. He was part of one when he was in college and knew it helped his development. Paul talked about training and competing at the big national meets, training with the Marine Corp team, training with Maurice Allan.
I met with Paul and came up with a plan to get the club going. As I hit roadblocks at the school, Paul continued to push forward. He helped me get through the process. Things moved too slowly for both of us. He would see me at a meet and ask why I had yet to get things approved. He was a no nonsense type of guy. He spoke to me bluntly. I loved it. He helped push things forward.
When I finally got approval to start a club, Paul did all the leg work. He filed the paperwork, met with attorneys to get the nonprofit status, and evidently paid the fees. Paul did it all. He was the founder and the President of the Patriot Elite Wrestling Club.
Because of Paul’s efforts we were able to train guys in Freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling this spring. We were also able to have guys represent the club at USA Wrestling events this spring. Paul made this happen. His dream, our dream for the club, was on a grand scale. He wanted to build the club to rival some of the best in the country.
I enjoyed the way Paul would tell stories. He lived a life with wonderful stories. He would have a gleam in his eye, a little smirk on his face, when he would talk about making the move from a 190lber to heavyweight. He would playfully chide his coach Roger Rinker about some of the memories they shared in wrestling. I loved his stories. I will miss him.