VESTAL, N.Y.—Former wrestling great Mike Truncale passed away March 20 on Long Island. Truncale, inducted into Binghamton’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 1998, is survived by his wife, Donna, and their children Frank, Brianna and Gabriella.
He was a proprietor of Tennis Court Construction and Maintenance, Co., in Patchogue, N.Y
A native of Smithtown, N.Y., Truncale wrestled at Binghamton from 1983-85 after transferring from University of Tennessee. At Binghamton, Truncale became the school’s first three-time All-American. He placed seventh at the 1983 NCAA Championship, third in 1984 and second in 1985. His overtime match for the 150-pound national championship against an opponent from Trenton State was televised on ESPN. Truncale was a co-captain of Binghamton’s 1984 team that finished third in the entire country - the highest national finish of any team in school history. He went undefeated in duals that season (10-0) and finished his three-year career with an 18-3 dual meet record.
Truncale was named BU’s Athlete of the Year in 1984-85.
He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1985.
Former teammate Mark Gumble ...
“Mike was captain of the team when I was a freshman. He was my daily workout partner and taught me how to train to become an All-American. I vividly remember speaking with him in the spring of his senior year. He was disappointed in not winning an NCAA title but proud that he was the only BU wrestler ever to become a three-time All-American. His words were a source of inspiration to me during my senior year. I have yet to see another athlete train as hard as Mike did. I used to curse him when he made me run the library tower stairs with him early in the morning or ride the stationary bike for a half-hour every day after practice. Today I am glad I listened and learned from Mike because his influence helped me reach most of my athletic goals at Binghamton.”
Former coach Steve Erber ...
“Mike had a great work ethic and was always very focused. He kind of ran by himself but became a leader by virtue of the tremendous amoutn of time he put in. Other talented athletes started to follow suit and it boosted the whole team up - thus a third-place NCAA finish in 1984. I never really had to motivate Mike. He had a goal and was willing to work to reach it. It any of my athletes deserved a national title by virtue of their work ethic it was Mike.”
Former high school teammate and friend Sean O’Malley ...
“Although he was the toughest man on our Smithtown East teams of 1979 and 1980, he was also one of the nicest, funniest, easiest going guys you could ever meet. He was a real joker, and although our personalities were quite different, we always meshed. I always enjoyed my time with Mike. He was also a craftsman, working with his brother Jack since the mid 1980s building tennis courts, driveways, walkways and the like. Mike’s working legacy will be evident for years to come for anyone playing on the recently rebuilt tennis courts at Smithtown East and West. Mike’s wrestling legacy will also carry with us. Mike was awesome on his feet, and was a Suffolk County Runner up in his junior year in HS.”
A link to John Hartrick's original press release is here.
The Bearcat wrestling family extends our deepest sympathies to Mike's family and friends.
Below, because we just can't stop talking about Nationals, is a video montage from the 2012 NCAA Championships.
Video credit: John Hartrick.
Photo credit: Angelo Juliano Photography