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First Ever Girls Wrestling Coach Named


Ponca City Public Schools has named Karissa Avallone as its first ever girls head wrestling coach, pending board approval. Coach “K” Karissa Avallone started her wrestling career at the age of four at Ponca City and later in Newkirk.

During Coach K’s prep career, Coach won two national championships and received five All-American certificates held by the United States Girls Wrestling Association that was founded by Kent Bailio. At the state level, Coach won eight state championships. Coach then received a full ride scholarship to wrestle at Missouri Baptist University in 2012. Avallone was a varsity wrestler for two years at 155 lbs. before retiring due to injuries.

Since her college wrestling career, Coach K has successfully built two girls wrestling programs in Oklahoma at both Norman and Moore High Schools. Her greatest achievements as a coach came while serving as the girls coach at Moore where she was able to lead her team to two West Regional Championships, an Academic State Championship, and qualified 12 young ladies for state with four becoming state place winners. In addition, Coach K has been voted Assistant Girl’s Coach of the Year by the Oklahoma Wrestling Coaches Association.

“I was drawn to Ponca City as this is where I competed in little league. I am excited to start a new program in the State of Oklahoma right here at Po-Hi. I look forward to meeting current wrestlers and introducing new young ladies to the sport,” said Avallone.

“Coach K will be a tremendous asset to the ladies here and we look forward to working with her in building on our rich tradition,” said Justin Roland, head boys coach.

“I am excited about the additional opportunities for our young ladies here in Ponca City,” said Jason Leavitt, athletic director. “Coach K has been a pioneer in girls wrestling for many years and I am eager to see our girls program grow.”