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At 18, Danielle has won a total of 104 matches in her career. (Barry Chin / The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

She’s the Champ!

Danielle Coughlin is the first girl to win a high school wrestling title in Massachusetts

By Jennifer Marino Walters | March 20 , 2013

High school varsity wrestler Danielle Coughlin has proved she is just as tough as any male or female Massachusetts high school wrestler in her weight class—or even tougher. Last month, the North Andover High School senior made history by becoming the first female to win a Massachusetts individual state wrestling title. She won in the 106-pound weight class.

“I actually started crying,” Danielle told the Boston Globe. “I . . . realized that [my win] was a little bit bigger than I had first thought.”

According to the United States Girls’ Wrestling Association, Danielle is only the fourth girl to win a state championship in an all-boys division. The first three were Michaela Hutchison of Anchorage, Alaska, in 2006, Hope Steffensen of Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, in 2010, and Rachel Hale of Bennington, Vermont, in 2011.

Although all-girl wrestling does not yet exist in Massachusetts, plans are in the works to offer it this spring.


Danielle learned how to wrestle from her old brother, Larry, a former North Andover wrestler who also won a state title, in 2006. She had to convince her parents—who were concerned about her wrestling against boys—to let her compete.

North Andover’s wrestling coach, Carl Cincotta, says he knew Danielle would be great as soon as she came to tryouts as a freshman. She made the team, but he warned her that she wouldn’t get any special treatment. Danielle didn’t mind.

“I would be offended if he went easy on me because I was a girl,” she told CBS News.

Danielle proved herself over the next few years. Her victory last month also helped the North Andover team win its fourth consecutive state title. But she had to beat a lot of boys before now to make history. Danielle won 29 matches this season and lost only 6. At 18, she has won 104 matches in her career.

This year, Cincotta named her co-captain of the team, the Scarlet Knights. “It’s amazing for her, the fact that she’s a girl,” Cincotta told ABC News. “But she’s just another wrestler to me.”

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