Doug Umbehauer believes the sport of wrestling has given him more than just the thrill of competing. The Lenape High School great truly feels he has received so much more than trophies and awards.
“Wrestling has been amazing, I've learned so many life lessons and I’ve been all over the world and meeting people that I would have never met,” Umbehauer said.
“I got to compete with Cael Sanderson and some of the best wrestlers of our generation after college, so it's been pretty awesome,” Umbehauer added about the Olympic gold medalist and Penn State head coach.
Umbehauer will soon receive another award from wrestling, as he will be inducted into the Rider University Athletics Hall of Fame on June 10.
“It does seem like it was just yesterday,” Umbehauer said about wrestling at Rider, where he finished with a career record of 100-35 and was a four-time NCAA qualifier. “It has flown by.”
The 184-pounder placed third in the nation to earn All-America honors as a senior in 2009 when he posted a 24-5 record. He was the seventh seed at the Nationals and he defeated the second seed twice, including in the third place match.
Umbehauer, who also won 27 matches as a junior and 28 as a sophomore and was a freshman All-American in 2006, still feels very connected to Rider wrestling. After all, the Broncs’ wrestling program certainly boasts a South Jersey flavor.
Chad Walsh from Camden Catholic became a two-time All-American this season.
And former Rider associate coach John Hangey, who lives in Marlton, has replaced the legendary Gary Taylor as the Broncs head coach next season.
“There are a lot of South Jersey connections there,” Umbehauer said about Rider.
Hangey, who became the fifth Broncs’ wrestler ever to earn All-America honors by placing fourth in 1993 at 190 pounds, was a part time assistant coach at Rider from 1994-1997 before taking the head job at Bucknell University. He returned to Rider in 2000 as the program's first full time assistant.
“I've known John since about 2000,” Umbehauer said. “Through high school, we worked out and in college we worked out twice a day, every day.”
Umbehauer was a three-time district champion, a region champ and a state runner-up at Lenape. He finished his scholastic career ranked fifth in the nation at 189 pounds.
Umbehauer, who was also a three-year letter winner in football for the Indians, won the Outstanding Senior Athlete award at Lenape.
“He was a big part of why I chose to go to Rider,” Umbehauer said about Hangey. “He was so genuine.”
Umbehauer, who graduated in 2004 from Lenape, lived in State College, Pa. after graduating from Rider and trained with the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club.
“I was trying to make the Olympic team up until about 2012,” he said. “And then I got a business with my dad (Dóug) and I've been doing it ever since.”
Umbehauer, a finance major, works in the family business - The Painting and Wallcovering Company – also with his mother, Kathy.
“I was there for the first two national championships, so I was able to work out with them,” Umbehauer said about training at Penn State. “They really have it going over there. It's really an awesome culture they have.”
Umbehauer feels Rider is on the right path as well.
“Wrestling in the Northeast is definitely cranking up and Rider will be really exciting to watch,” Umbehauer said. “I will follow those guys.”
Umbehauer and his wife Michelle, also a Lenape grad, live in Shamong with their five children –Baileigh (9), Dougie (5), Lilie (3), Grace (2) and Lucy (9 months).
Young Doug is now rolling around on the mats.
“He actually started this year so I coached him and helped out with the Seneca juniors,” Umbehauer said.
Surely, his son will keep him involved in wrestling for more than one month of the year now.
“Every March, when the NCAA tournament rolls around, I get real nostalgic,” Umbehauer said. “And get the edge to wrestle.”
Although he doesn’t wrestle anymore, he still receives the benefit from the sport he gave so much to himself.