Mount St. Joseph athletic director and wrestling coach Paul Triplett surprised school officials last week when he unexpectedly resigned after 22 years at the school.
"He gave me his resignation July 12," principal Barry Fitzpatrick said. "He asked me to say that he was leaving for personal reasons, and I am honoring his request. It is a tremendous loss for us as a school. He had a 22-year career here, is a graduate of our school and a member of our Athletic Hall of Fame. We will miss him."
Triplett could not be reached for comment.
Fitzpatrick has named Kraig Loovis, a 1992 Mount St. Joseph graduate, the school's interim athletic director. Loovis has been at the school for 14 years, most recently serving as the physical education department chair. Fitzpatrick said he will also be looking for a wrestling coach.
"First, I want to get our head above water going into the school year this fall," Fitzpatrick said. "There is no timetable for finding a permanent athletic director. I just want to get all of our fall sports taken care of, and then I will start searching for a wrestling coach. I have contacted Paul's predecessor, Kirk Salvo, for guidance in that matter."
Triplett first came to Mount St. Joseph as a student when he transferred in as a sophomore. He made the varsity wrestling team that year, and then as a junior he won the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association championship and finished second at National Preps.
After graduating, Triplett attended the University of Maryland, where he was among the top three wrestlers in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament each of his four years there. He then taught and coached at Bishop Ireton School in Arlington, Va., for four years before returning to Mount St. Joseph.
Back at his alma matter, Triplett built a wrestling dynasty. He coached the Gaels to 10 consecutive MIAA A Conference championships from 1987 to 1997 before taking a break. Looking for a change of pace and wanting to experience the administrative side, he gave up coaching to become Director of Students. Triplett returned to coaching the wrestling team in 2009 and picked up where he left off, leading his team to the MIAA A Conference crown in 2009-10.
This past season, the Gaels went through a rebuilding year but still finished ranked No. 13 in The Sun's Top 15 poll.
Along the way, Triplett has been recognized for his administrative skills, being awarded the Maryland State Athletic Directors Association's Athletic Director of the Year for District 11 in 2005-06 and the Theodore James Ryken Award for Excellence in 2008 for contributions to the school.