Richard Ranalli has been involved in wrestling on and off for 40 years. Growing up in Jersey City and going to Hudson Catholic HS, Rich never had the opportunity to have a successful wrestling career as a competitor. He did wrestle for the HS on a club team for two years from 1972-74, since it was new to the school and not yet a varsity sport. That did not stop him from loving the sport and recognizing what it can contribute to a young person in learning how to face challenges in life. He went back to his high school after it became a varsity sport as an assistant coach working to help develop their first district champion.
Next he took over the St. Peters Prep program in Jersey City, which had not won a match in two years. In five years he was able to work with the administration to develop a program that consistently generated 55 wrestlers at three levels where he coached the first-ever district champions, region finalist, and state place-winner. During that time he also earned his Bronze Certification from USA Wrestling at Iowa University while working with the NJ Wrestling coaching staff at Junior Nationals. He was a member of the board of USA Wrestling-NJ, as well. St Peters took many a trip to compete over those years -- not a common occurrence in the early 80’s. One of the teams they would travel with was St. Benedicts Prep in Newark, as he developed a relationship with Hall of Fame coach Mike DiPiano and legendary Headmaster Fr. Edwin Leahy.
Before going into the commercial real estate world, Rich took his last athletics position, becoming the Director of Recreation for Jersey City, and while in that position, he worked with USA Wrestling to sponsor the Eastern Regions in Jersey City. While no longer full-time, Rich never left wrestling completely, working as a volunteer coach at Paterson East Side.
Professionally,Rich has worked in Commercial Real Estate industry with Coldwell Banker Commercial (now CBRE) and Grubb and Ellis, as well as a development partner. He is excited in building his own commercial firm at this time; another challenge.
Rich has two sons. Rich Jr. -- who, like dad, is now a member of the NYC Wrestling Officials Association -- wanted to restart the wrestling program at Hudson Catholic, which had been discontinued in the 90’s. After two years of being turned down, Rich Jr. went to Rich Sr. and they worked to find the resources so that the program could be re-started at the Jersey City school and allow his son the opportunity to experience the values of wrestling. Like his father, Rich Jr. did not have the time to develop his skills in today’s competitive wrestling community, but having young people open doors for the sport is sometimes more valuable than personal accomplishments. Rich’s other son, Robert, went to St. Benedicts and had a solid career with over 110 wins and a Prep State Championship to his credit.
Rich and his wife Susan have been married 33 years. She has been with him every step of the way.