Beyond the Mat: Andrew Murano

Beyond the Mat: Andrew Murano

Tim Jackson, the Head Editor of the school newspaper, has agreed to join the wrestling program for a season-long series of articles highlighting the program and it's wrestlers through stories from both on and off the mat.  Tim has put together an extensive series of article topics. Below is the eighth story in the series.

We sat down across from one another in the Steinman College Center for our interview and the first words out of Andrew Murano's mouth were, "It's so great you're doing this, we appreciate everything you're doing. Is this something you enjoy?"

Of course, the answer is yes. I actually love writing, particularly when the subject is one that I am invested in and passionate about. Writing for the wrestling team certainly qualifies. However, the point is not that I love writing, nor is it to toot my own horn so to speak. Rather, the point is to illustrate what kind of person Murano is.

Sitting down to talk about him and for him to speak about his accomplishments, the first words out of Murano's mouth concerned my happiness and whether or not I enjoyed what I was doing. His personality lends itself to interaction with others. Working with and pleasing people is Murano's strong suit.

I suggested the term "people person," and Murano seemed to take a liking to it right off the bat.

"I'm definitely big into interacting with people," Murano said. "I'm always about saying hi to people on the street and even if I've never met them, just getting to know them and saying hi to them. I like that classification. I'm definitely a people person. That's kind of something I want to hone in on later after college. I haven't really found that profession yet, but I'd like to find something that suits my personality as being a people person."

Murano, who is in the middle of his second season wrestling for F&M, has always placed a high emphasis on charity, pleasing others, and working to ensure that everyone who crosses his path leaves feeling a little bit better. Talking with him just for those 15 minutes, he struck me as another Colin Ely. In other words, Murano takes pride in hearing that others left a conversation with him feeling better than they did before they began speaking with him.

Coming from a Jesuit high school, Murano has always made charity and service a primary part of his life.

"I actually did a lot more charity in high school than I do now, which is probably not a good thing," Murano said. "I should definitely get back into that. Being in an Jesuit environment, they really hone in on being a man for others. I spent time at soup kitchens. On Saturdays, our [school] cafeteria would become a soup kitchen for the homeless, where they could sleep in the cafeteria. It was an overnight thing. I would always show up to that a couple times a month."

"For my senior year, I worked at a school for disabled children," he added. "That really touched me. Every Monday, I would go there and I would work with the children there. That's what I've done and I know it's not a huge amount of charity, but it's something I really want to do in life."

"I want to help people."

It's clear Murano is one who wants to make a difference. His own personal happiness is linked to the happiness of those around him in some way. Although my time with him was short, I got the sense he was genuinely interested in whether or not I took an interest in writing for the wrestling team. It was obvious at least to me that he was happy when I said yes.

While many people are specifically concerned with how to succeed on a personal level and what the most direct route to that success is, Murano is seemingly more concerned with how to be successful while at the same time helping others and leaving a smile on their faces at the same time.

This is not to say Murano isn't ambitious. When asked what he wanted his mark to be when he graduates, it was relatively short. All he wants is to be an All-American, make Dean's List every semester, and know everybody on campus.

"In terms of wrestling, I want to be an All-American," Murano said. "I want to do something big with wrestling. I want to be the start of something big. In terms of other aspects, I want to keep my friends from F&M, I love my friends from F&M. I want to be known on campus. I want to do well in school, I want to be on Dean's List from now on."

"That's kind of it."

As a wrestler, the sport has defined Murano's life. He only began wrestling as a freshman in high school at Xavier in New York, and it has helped mold and develop Murano. He has benefited from the sport and it's clear he appreciates everything the sport has given him.

"To be tough," Murano said when asked wrestling had taught him. "The more work and more preparation you put into something the easier something is going to be. Life is not easy. Wrestling dictates what you do on an off the mat. It all affects you on the mat when the spotlight is on you."

"Wrestling really has been a sport that defines me. I just have to be tough and to prepare, prepare, prepare. It has taught me to work hard, work hard in everything I do. Those are the two things. Work hard and be tough."

At F&M, Murano has loved his time as a Diplomat. Being a division one wrestler is something he views as a privilege and appreciates the opportunity that has been afforded him.

"I love being a division one athlete," Murano said. "It's like, that's kind of the main thing. If I am going to wrestle, I'm going to do it at the highest level. I love being a wrestler and that persona that comes with it. It's just been something that has defined me. I would love to be known around campus as a wrestler."

He enjoys being well known. Murano is at the center of everything and he's ambitious, but he has a healthy dose of reality, compassion, and  humility to accompany that nature. While it's difficult to tell where exactly Murano will end up, he will likely end up somewhere successful.

I could write 5,000 words about Murano and his personality. But all you really need to know is at the very beginning of this article. When he asked me whether or not I loved writing, Murano showed he is eager to please. He wants nothing more than to be well known and to contribute to all of their lives.

When I interviewed Ely a month ago, the most profound point we discussed was that Ely wants to leave every conversation knowing that the other person was feeling better at the end of the conversation. It's an admirable quality that far too few people embody.

Ely will be graduating next semester. But his personality and his mission will be carried on. Murano loves wrestling and he loves people. He says he wants leave an impact on the F&M community on every level.

He's well on his way.