DENNY DIEHL
LVAC Director of Development, Public Relations

Denny caught the bug as a wrestling fan in 1965 and has since worked in virtually all PR facets of the sport, including radio, TV, email, website, promotions, fund-raising, newspaper and magazines. His first role was his own radio sports show on Lehigh student station WLRN in 1966-67. As a Lehigh MBA student in ‘70-71, he was their on-air commentator for all LU wrestling matches (duals through NCAAs in Auburn, AL).

During his 14 years with the Lehigh U. Alumni Assn (1972-86), he organized the first Alumni-Varsity dual meet in 1974 (though postponed to the 1980’s) and moonlighted by co-founding the National Mat News, serving as owner, editor from 1975-1983 by covering Div. I wrestling for 2200 paid subscribers nationally. Between 1976-81, he was part-time color commentator for WLVT-Ch. 39 for LU football & wrestling events and from 1976-78, he hosted a pre-meet wrestling news show on Ch. 39. Among future Hall of Famers he interviewed were Iowa Coach Dan Gable, Navy Coach Ed Peery and eventual 3-time World Champion, Lee Kemp of Wisconsin.

Diehl took a ‘sabbatical’ from Lehigh and wrestling work from 1986-1994, serving as Alumni Director and Asst VP, University Relations for Drexel U (’86-89), then Director of Alumni Affairs for The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (’89-94). In ’94-97, he helped market Internet services to Higher Education for three start-up firms, including developing and marketing cutting edge online products less than two years after the global creation of the World Wide Web.

In 1995, Denny was recruited out of wrestling writing retirement by Lehigh and Olympic coach, Greg Strobel. To help promote the program nationally, Diehl created the LUWrestlingNews that year, a year-round email newsletter which has grown from 30 to nearly 500 direct readers (360 paid subscribers; over 80 issues/year). In 1997, he created Roby Publishing in time to author Lehigh’s first full hard-bound history book (256 p.), selling nearly 900 copies.

In 1999, Denny received the Robert Dellinger Award from Amateur Wrestling News (for whom he’s regular columnist) as its National Writer-of-the-Year. In 2000 he was hired as Director of Development and Public Relations for the fledgling Lehigh Valley Athletic Club, helping grow its Annual Fund from $40,000 to more than $140K/year. In 2003, Diehl became Communications Director of the Lehigh Wrestling Club and in Oct. ’09 will author their sixth pre-season 48 p. fan guide to promote interest in the Lehigh wrestling program. The Club has its own website (www.lehighwrestling.com), which he helps manage – the only school in the nation with its own fan guide and full-service website.

Since 2007, Diehl has served as the NCAA’s Media Liaison for the National Championships, sharing info from the head table to over 120 media members. Denny’s current involvements include board member, EIWA Wrestling Hall of Fame; member, Archives & Nominations Committee, Lehigh U. Athletics Hall of Fame and secretary for a committee to nominate Lehigh coaches and wrestlers to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. He’s attended 35 EIWAs, 22 NCAAs, 12 Midlands and a Lehigh record 500+ dual meets.