The Edge is committed to teaching and mentoring students through the sport of wrestling to strive for individual excellence in all aspects of their lives, developing character, self-confidence, self-discipline, mental toughness and a strong work ethic to prepare them for life’s challenges.
Ernie Monaco Founder & C.E.O
Ernie is an alumnus of Upsala College where he earned a B.A. degree in Business Administration. He attended graduate school at Montclair State University where he received his teaching certificate in Technology Education and Industrial Arts after completing 72 credits beyond his bachelor's degree. In 2012 Ernie was named “Teacher of the Year” in Warren Middle School, but it was in 1984 that he revolutionized the concept of club wrestling when he founded The Edge School of Wrestling, and he has been training wrestlers of all age groups ever since. Ernie has been a member of the New Jersey Wrestling Federation Coaches Council and a Member at Large on the executive board of the New Jersey Wrestling Federation. He has coached at the Junior, Cadet, and Schoolboy levels for all the New Jersey Wrestling Federation National Teams. He is currently a member of the Asics Corporation Advisory Board and a USA Wrestling certified coach. Ernie was coined “The Godfather” and “The Originator” of club wrestling by “FloWrestling’s” founder Martin Floreani in 2009 (watch here) for being the first person to mainstream amateur wrestling as a full-time private wrestling school (The Edge School of Wrestling est. 1984) in the United States.
Ernie’s long list of coaching accomplishments have made Edge Wrestling one of the most highly respected and nationally recognized programs in the country. The success of his students on every level has made “The Edge” a common name among college recruiters. His coaching record speaks for itself with having coached more New Jersey High School State Champions (101), and more New Jersey State Runners-ups (82), than any other coach in New Jersey wrestling.
Dave is a graduate of Lehigh University where he received a B.S. degree in Marketing. Following his graduation from Lehigh, he worked at The Edge as an assistant for two years before attending Columbia University Graduate School where he received his Masters degree and was an assistant wrestling coach. Among his many accomplishments as a college wrestler Dave was a two-time NCAA Division 1 All-American finishing third and second. He was a two-time Eastern National Champion and recipient of the prestigious Fletcher Award for most points scored for a team over the course of his career in the tournament. While at Lehigh Dave was voted Lehigh’s outstanding wrestler twice and named Captain of the team. He received the male athlete of the year award for Lehigh University. On the Open or Olympic level, Dave was ranked as high as fifth in the nation. In high school, he attended JFK Iselin where he was a three-time state place finisher. Dave is one of the best wrestlers ever to come out of The Edge.
Dave started his wrestling career at The Edge when he was 8 years old. Today some 18 years later he is an extremely valuable part of The Edge and its future. His technical knowledge, understanding of the sport and ability to communicate it make him a great coach on any level. His college recruiting experience, and national contacts make him an invaluable resource when it comes to college placement. His unique ability to relate to younger wrestlers and inspire them by his example set him apart from most. We are extremely proud to have Dave back at The Edge and as a principle member of our staff.
Eric is a graduate of Harvard University where he was a highly recruited Division I wrestler earning All-American honors during his high school career. He was a Four-time New Jersey State Place Winner and finalist. Eric also was an alternate on the Cadet World Team while placing second in the Cadet Nationals. He ended his high school career by gaining All-American honors by placing fourth in the National High School Wrestling Championships and winning the Sports Illustrated Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award. Having three shoulder surgeries during his high school career, Eric was forced to retire early from the sport after another reconstructive shoulder surgery early in his sophomore year at Harvard.
With his competitive career behind him, Eric continued to stay with the sport and assist the wrestling team by helping develop a year-round strength and conditioning program while continuing to work on his wrestling technique with the help of many Harvard coaches including Olympic Champion, Kendall Cross. After receiving an MBA from UNLV and working in the business world, Eric is currently pursuing a career in education and eventually administration as he earns his doctorate. Eric started attending the Edge at the age of eight and is excited to use his wealth of experience and knowledge to help current members of the club in the same methodology that has made his career and the Edge itself such a success.
Ryan is a graduate of Columbia University, where he studied computer science and engineering. In high school, he was a New Jersey state champion and earned All-American status in freestyle at the ASICS/Vaughan Cadet & Junior Nationals in Fargo, ND. Ryan began his Edge career nearly 17 years ago, developing under the guidance of coaches Ernie Monaco and Dave Esposito. As a coach and our National Dual Team coordinator, he has spent the last 4 years giving back to the program that has given him so much. Ryan is currently pursuing a career in technology as a software developer.
Jonathan is a graduate of North Carolina State University where he earned a B.S. in Program Management. During his high school career, at Bergen Catholic High school, he was a Three-time NJ State Place winner and Finalist. He also gained All-American honors as a high school wrestler by winning a Freestyle-Fargo National Championship and taking Runner-up at the Greco Roman- Fargo National Championships. Jonathan started his Edge career at the age of 8 years old where he developed throughout his career to eventually become a Division-1 Student-Athlete but due to injury was unable to compete at the collegiate level. Today, Jonathan is working as a Recruiter in the I.T. Industry and is beginning his coaching career at the Edge School of Wrestling as an assistant.
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CONSULTANT TO STAFF:
Dr. Robert Monaco
Dr. Robert Monaco is in his 20th year as the Associate Director of Athletics/Sports Medicine and has served as Team Physician for the football program since his arrival in 1996. In addition to working with the football team, Dr. Monaco oversees the medical treatment for all of the University’s sports. His responsibilities also include supervising a group of 11 full-time certified athletic trainers and a support staff in sports nutrition and psychology.
In addition to his work with the Scarlet Knights, Dr. Monaco is a clinical professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and is associate director of the school’s Sports Medicine Fellowship Program.
His educational background includes a Bachelor’s Degree from Columbia University, where he competed in wrestling and captained the team his senior year. He went on to receive his medical degree from Rutgers - New Jersey Medical School (formerly UMDNJ) where he was a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. He completed his residency at Rutgers - Robert Wood Johnson Medical School New Brunswick, working with the Department of Family Medicine.
Dr. Monaco has also done postgraduate study and completed a fellowship in Sports Medicine at Rutgers - Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, which included work at Princeton University and the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. In addition, Dr. Monaco holds a Master’s degree in public health from Rutgers. He has particular interest and expertise in sports ultrasound and biological approaches to muscle and tendon injuries as well as concussions for which he is an active researcher with multiple grants.
A native of Nutley, N.J., Dr. Monaco comes from a family of physical educators, coaches and athletes. Dr. Monaco and his wife, Carolyn, are the proud parents of two children, Antonio and Angelina.