The search didn’t go far – geographically speaking.
Sanshrio “Sunny” Abe is no stranger to WPIAL Wrestling and the former Pittsburgh Central Catholic head coach is regarded as one of the Nation’s best clinicians. Sunny has spent the large majority of his time as a coach in the Pittsburgh region so he seems to be the perfect fit for North Allegheny. Abe also runs a successful club program “Pitt Bull Wrestling” across multiple locations in Pennsylvania, including Wexford, but is primarily a Western Pennsylvania club.
North Allegheny Wrestling Booster president Rusty Woodley knows the importance of having the right coach leading the Tigers.
Woodley stated “the North Allegheny wrestling family is very excited about Sunny Abe being named Head Coach. Sunny and his staff will carry on the long standing tradition of wrestling and coaching excellence at North Allegheny. The NA wrestling boosters look forward to Sunny continuing the tradition built by Coach Kyriazis and Coach DeAugustino before him.”
Abe is originally from Tokyo, Japan where he was a successful wrestler before an opportunity presented itself for him to travel to the United States for an education and wrestling career. Abe was offered a scholarship from Penn State and he hasn’t left the Keystone State since.
While at Penn State he was one of the most decorated wrestlers in Lion’s history earning All-American honors in all four seasons. Abe was a 2x NCAA finalist and his senior season in 1996 was capped with a NCAA Division I National Championship at 126 lbs. Abe was also a 3x Big Ten Champion and an Olympian for Japan at the 1996 Olympic Games.
Abe stayed on at Penn State as a volunteer assistant for three seasons before moving to the Pittsburgh area where he took on a role as assistant coach at Pitt. After spending four seasons with the Panthers Sunny transitioned into high school coaching. Abe joined a Franklin Regional Junior High program that would feature some of the State’s top wrestlers in years to come. One of those wrestlers was Nico Megaludis who like Abe choose to attend Penn State. Abe coached the junior high program for three seasons before moving up to the high school team where he was Eric Mausser’s head assistant.
In 2008 Sunny was named head coach of a Pittsburgh Central Catholic program without a feeder body and low numbers for a Class AAA sized school. In 7 seasons with the Vikings Sunny saw unprecedented success. He coached a total of three State Champions, Perry Hills and Vincenzo Joseph twice. He also saw 16 State Medalists in a total of 20 State Qualifiers. 12 of his wrestlers won WPIAL Championships. In 2011 Central Catholic finished second in the State at the PIAA State Individual Tournament with 79.0 points. That year Abe had six PIAA State Qualifiers who all finished as PIAA State Medalists.
Sunny will be taking over a North Allegheny program with a load of talent. They return a solid line-up and the Tiger’s have a very formidable youth program. Additionally Sunny’s assistant coach Johnni Cortese will be following him from Central Catholic to North Allegheny.
Sunny Abe at Pittsburgh Central Catholic: 2008-2015
WPIAL Champions: 12
State Qualifiers: 20
State Medalists: 16
State Champions: 3
Abe replaces Jame Kryiazis who spent 15 seasons at the helm for North Allegheny. Kryiazis was a 1990 graduate of North Allegheny where he was a PIAA State Champion. In 2000 Kryiazis took over for George DeAugustino the nephew of legendary NA coach Gus DeAugustino. Over his 15 years heading the Tiger’s Kryiazis had a career record of (217-68) and coached four PIAA State Champions including Olympian Jake Herbert. Kryiazis is leaving on a high note as the Tiger’s earned their first ever trophy at the PIAA State Dual Team Championships finishing in fourth place.
Jamie Kryiazis at North Allegheny: 2000-2015
WPIAL Champions: 10
State Qualifiers: 36
State Medalists: 22
State Champions: 4