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Coach "Frank" Anthony Ciccone Wrestling Scholarship

Funded by
1st winner$1,500
2nd winner$1,000
Application Deadline
Mar 10, 2025
Winners Announced
Apr 10, 2025
Education Level
High School, Undergraduate
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school or undergraduate student
Financial need
Sports Experience:
Wrestling (ideally planning to wrestle in college)

Coach “Frank” Anthony Ciccone was a pillar of the Hopatcong, New Jersey community who tragically passed away at the age of just 33. Anthony had an immediate impact on anyone who had the privilege to meet him. He had a larger than life personality and a heart of gold.

Anthony not only loved his community, but had an affinity for wrestling. More commonly known to the wrestling community as "Coach Frank", Anthony dedicated his precious time to coaching the children of the Hopatcong Young Wrestling program. When Coach Frank showed up to practice he immediately lit up the room. The kids he coached loved him and his presence resonated on the mat. Anthony left a positive impact on all who knew him.

This scholarship seeks to honor the life of Coach “Frank” Anthony Ciccone and maintain his legacy by supporting students who share his love for wrestling.

Any underprivileged high school or undergraduate student who has financial need and is a wrestler, ideally planning to wrestle in college, may apply for this scholarship. 

To apply, tell us why you consider yourself to be an underdog, how you’ve embraced this role, and how you have used your status as an underdog to help you achieve your ambitions.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Passion
Published April 11, 2024
Essay Topic

Coach Frank always rooted for an underdog, a role that is never easy to accept or embrace. In your own words based on a real-life experience, explain a situation when you were considered an underdog. How did you embrace this role and utilize it to help pursue your passion in an attempt to achieve your goal?

400–600 words

Winning Application

Chad Brown
Forsyth Technical Community CollegeClemmons, NC
If there was ever a scholarship that I wanted to win, this is the one. It's not just about the money, it's about what this scholarship represents. It says I started from the bottom and climbed up. It depicts strength of character and displays perseverance against all odds. I've been in this game long enough to know not all wrestlers are built the same. Many are motivated, and few are driven. When you're the underdog, you've got nothing to lose but a whole lot to prove. This is my underdog story. Growing up, I was overweight and out of shape which made me an easy target for bullies. I have struggled with childhood obesity and depression since age 7. By age 8, I lost my father to suicide. We uprooted and relocated many times throughout the years due to financial hardships. This adversely affected childhood relationships and prevented me from having any kind of normal upbringing. Mom remarried a year later. Soon after, child protective services entered the picture and pull me and my siblings out of our home due to domestic violence. It was one of those situations where the kids get penalized for the parent's misguidance. From age 10 to 12, I was pulled left and right from one foster family to the next due to unavailable space. Eventually, I was settled into a group home for troubled youth in Thomasville, NC for the remainder of time until I could be reunited with my family permanently. By age 13, I entered High School. Up to this point, I had been turned away from playing sports because of my size. This was the same year I encountered George who was a senior bully. He would run up behind me to clinch a chokehold and wouldn't release me until I tapped out. After being attacked not once, not twice, but three times, I decided to fight back. My distressed appearance must have given it away. Once I returned from lunch break, my teacher Mr. Barnes covertly called the front office and sent me to meet with the Vice Principal. Choosing to keep my integrity intact, I confessed to the whole thing. It was my first school fight. I remember being fearful of being expelled or suspended; I would've been ineligible to play sports. Given the chance to have a clean slate, we agreed to shake hands and go our separate ways. Taking initiative, I moved inside during the lunch period. While sitting alone, members of the wrestling team joined me at the table. Not long after, I was recruited for the Varsity Heavyweight spot. The first season, my coaches questioned if I'd stick with it. I remember having these conversations and telling them I'm no quitter. Their response was, "Only time will tell." Getting through the first year was no small task but there was no way I was quitting. Nobody thought I would become one of the most successful wrestlers to exit Glenn High School. My success on the mat propelled me to the next level where I would become a 4-year starting Heavyweight for Campbellsville University where I earned a bachelor's degree as a first-generation college graduate. My passion for wrestling pushes me to continue pursuing excellence as a Professional Athlete and Coach. My setbacks have set me up to become a highly relatable Coach who has struggled so others don't have to. As I trek forward on this path, I'm still having to overcome financial hardships and adversity. With your financial support, I'm able to stay in the fight and will pay it forward by helping others.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Mar 10, 2025. Winners will be announced on Apr 10, 2025.