Legendary wrestling coach and Suffolk Sports Hall of Famer Lou Giani has passed away. He was 86.
Giani, who only began wrestling when he was 17, was Huntington’s first Suffolk County champion, and later built the program into a powerhouse that propelled him to national prominence as one of the most respected and decorated wrestling coaches in American high school history.
He had a record of 436-36-1 over 40 seasons, coached 23 state champions, 188 all-county wrestlers, 61 Suffolk County champions and had 9 county team championships. He was inducted to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, NYSPHSAA Hall of Fame and Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame.
After graduating from Huntington, Giani spent 19 years working for Grumman where he was a group leader on the Lunar Excursion Module.
In 1956 he finished fourth at the U.S. Olympic qualifying tournament and was an Olympic alternate. He won gold on the U.S. team at the 1959 Pan Am Games and later made the 1960 Olympic team but could not compete due to an injury. He also won 10 New York Athletic Club titles.
While Lou was the school’s first county champ, his son Lou Jr. was Huntington’s first state champ, and his other son Joe was the school’s first wrestler to win an NCAA title.
A wake will be held from 4-8 p.m. on Sunday, January 24, at M.A. Connell Funeral Home in Huntington Station, NY and a funeral service will be held on Monday, January 25, at 9:30 a.m. at St Hughs of Lincoln in Huntington Station, NY.