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Penn State Nittany Lions wrestling

The Penn State Nittany Lions wrestling program is a NCAA Division I Wrestling team competing as members of the Big Ten Conference.

Penn State Nittany Lions
Penn State Athletics wordmark.svg
UniversityPennsylvania State University
Head CoachCael Sanderson (11th season)
Assistant CoachCasey Cunningham
Cody Sanderson
Jake Varner
ConferenceBig Ten Conference
LocationUniversity Park, PA
ArenaLorenzo Wrestling Complex at Rec Hall
(Capacity: 7,000)
NicknameNittany Lions
ColorsBlue and White[1]
         
Fight songFight On, State
Team national championships
1921(pre-NCAA), 1953, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
NCAA individual national championships
1935, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1957, 1971, 1972, 1975, 1984, 1988, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
NCAA individual champions
44 (by 30 athletes)
All-Americans
221
Conference Tournament championships
Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association
1918, 1919, 1920, 1921, 1924, 1925, 1936, 1937, 1942, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1957, 1960, 1971, 1973

Eastern Wrestling League
1976, 1977, 1978, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992

Big Ten Conference
2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2019

The team is coached by Olympic Champion Cael Sanderson (Athens 2004) and have maintained status as one of the top collegiate wrestling programs in the country, with a four-year NCAA Team Championship streak from 2011-2014, and an additional four-year NCAA Team Championship streak from 2016-2019. At the conclusion of the 2018-2019 season, they are at a 59 dual meet win streak.

Former wrestlers include Dan Hodge Trophy Winner Kerry McCoy (wrestler) (1997) and Bo Nickal (2019), and two-time Dan Hodge Trophy Winners David Taylor (2012, 2014) and Zain Retherford (2017, 2018).

HistoryEdit

The Penn State wrestling program was established in 1909 and was declared national dual meet champion in 1921.[2][3] In 1925, Penn State won all seven team duals in which they competed, finishing the dual meet season undefeated.[4]

Charlie Spiedel coached the team from 1927-1942 and 1947-1964, taking a four-year break to serve during World War II. He is credited with laying the groundwork for the Nittany Lion wrestling program's standard of excellence. He guided the team to the 1953 national title.[5]

Prior to competing in the Big Ten Conference, the Penn State wrestling program competed as members of the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (1918-1974) and the Eastern Wrestling League (1975-1992).

Current Roster 2019-2020Edit

Weight (Pounds) Name Year
125 lbs. TBD
133 lbs. Roman Bravo-Young So.
141 lbs. Nick Lee Jr.
149 lbs. Luke Gardner Jr.
157 lbs. Bo Pipher Jr.
165 lbs. Vincenzo Joseph Sr.
174 lbs. Mark Hall Sr.
184 lbs. Shakur Rasheed Sr.
197 lbs. Kyle Connel Grad.
285 lbs. Anthony Cassar Sr.

National championshipsEdit

Team ChampionshipsEdit

In 1921, Penn State was declared the National Dual Team champion after defeating Indiana University & Iowa State. [5]

In addition, Penn State has won nine NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships as a team.

Year Coach NCAA Meet Points Duals Record (W-L-T)
1921 William E. Lewis N/A 6-1
1953 Charlie Speidel 21 9-0
2011 Cael Sanderson 107.5 17-1-1
2012 Cael Sanderson 143.0 13-1
2013 Cael Sanderson 123.5 13-1
2014 Cael Sanderson 109.5 15-1
2016 Cael Sanderson 123.0 16-0
2017 Cael Sanderson 146.5 14-0
2018 Cael Sanderson 141.5 14-0
2019 Cael Sanderson 137.5 14-0

Individual ChampionshipsEdit

The program’s record for most NCAA Champions in one season was set in 2017, with 5 NCAA Champions crowned - Zain Retherford (149 lbs), Jason Nolf (157 lbs), Vincenzo Joseph (165 lbs), Mark Hall (174 lbs), and Bo Nickal (184 lbs).

Year NCAA Champion Weight Class
1935 Howard Johnston 165 lbs
1952 Joe Lemyre 167 lbs
1953 Hud Samson 191 lbs
1955 Larry Fornicola 137 lbs
1955 Bill Oberly Heavyweight
1957 Jon Johnston 130 lbs
1971 Andy Matter 167 lbs
1972 Andy Matter 167 lbs
1975 John Fritz 126 lbs
1984 Carl Destefanis 118 lbs
1984 Scott Lynch 134 lbs
1988 Jim Martin 126 lbs
1991 Jeff Prescott 118 lbs
1992 Jeff Prescott 118 lbs
1994 Kerry McCoy 275 lbs
1995 John Hughes 142 lbs
1996 Sanshire Abe 126 lbs
1997 Kerry McCoy 275 lbs
1999 Glen Pritzlaff 174 lbs
2000 Jeremy Hunter 125 lbs
2008 Phil Davis 197 lbs
2011 Quentin Wright 184 lbs
2012 Frank Molinaro 149 lbs
2012 David Taylor 165 lbs
2012 Ed Ruth 174 lbs
2013 Ed Ruth 184 lbs
2013 Quentin Wright 197 lbs
2014 David Taylor 165 lbs
2014 Ed Ruth 184 lbs
2015 Matt Brown 174 lbs
2016 Nico Megaludis 125 lbs
2016 Zain Retherford 149 lbs
2017 Zain Retherford 149 lbs
2017 Jason Nolf 157 lbs
2017 Vincenzo Joseph 165 lbs
2017 Mark Hall 174 lbs
2017 Bo Nickal 184 lbs
2018 Zain Retherford 149 lbs
2018 Jason Nolf 157 lbs
2018 Vincenzo Joseph 165 lbs
2018 Bo Nickal 184 lbs
2019 Jason Nolf 157 lbs
2019 Bo Nickal 197 lbs
2019 Anthony Cassar 285 lbs

The following table counts the achievements of Nittany Lion wrestlers by name as opposed to year.

Wrestler NCAA Championships NCAA Runners-up Hodge Trophy
Bo Nickal 3 1 2019
Jason Nolf 3 1
Ed Ruth 3 0
Zain Retherford 3 0 2017 & 2018
David Taylor 2 2 2012 & 2014
Quentin Wright 2 1
Vincenzo Joseph 2 1
Andy Matter 2 0
Jeff Prescott 2 0
Kerry McCoy 2 0 1997
Mark Hall 1 2
Nico Megaludis 1 2
Frank Molinaro 1 1
Jeremy Hunter 1 1
Jim Martin 1 1
John Hughes 1 1
Matt Brown 1 1
Phil Davis 1 1
Sanshire Abe 1 1
Anthony Cassar 1 0
Bill Oberly 1 0
Carl Destefanis 1 0
Glen Pritzlaff 1 0
Howard Johnston 1 0
Hud Samson 1 0
Joe Lemyre 1 0
John Fritz 1 0
Jon Johnston 1 0
Larry Fornicola 1 0
Scott Lynch 1 0
Troy Sunderland 0 2
Aaron Anspach 0 1
Bubba Jenkins 0 1
Cary Kolat 0 1
Clint Musser 0 1
Dan Mayo 0 1
Dan Vallimont 0 1
Greg Elinsky 0 1
Greg Haladay 0 1
Josh Moore 0 1
Morgan McIntosh 0 1
Pat Cummins 0 1
TOTALS 44 30 6

Olympics and post-graduate careersEdit

Penn State wrestlers have gone on to have success beyond their NCAA achievements. Wrestlers have had career success in the Olympics and in professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).

Wrestler Competition Notable Achievements
Katsutoshi Naito Olympics (1924) Bronze Medal (1924)
Ken Chertow Olympics (1988)
Sanshiro Abe Olympics (1996)
Kerry McCoy Olympics (2000, 2004)

World Championships (2003)

5th place (2000), 7th place (2004)

Silver Medal (2003)

Phil Davis Bellator (2008-) Light Heavyweight World Champion (2016)
Patrick Cummins (fighter) UFC (2010-)
Frank Molinaro Olympics (2016) 5th place (2016)
Zain Retherford World Championships (2017, 2019)
David Taylor World Championships (2018) Gold Medal (2018), UWW Wrestler of the Year (2018)
Bo Nickal U23 World Championships (2019) Gold Medal (2019)

CoachingEdit

Current coaching staffEdit

Position[6] Name
Head Coach Cael Sanderson
Associate Head Coach Cody Sanderson
Head Assistant Coach Casey Cunningham
Assistant Coach Jake Varner
Director of Operations Adam Lynch

Head coach historyEdit

Years Name
1927–1942, 1947–1964 Charlie Spiedel
1965–1978 Bill Koll
1979–1992 Rich Lorenzo
1993–1998 John Fritz
1999–2009 Troy Sunderland
2010–present Cael Sanderson

FacilitiesEdit

The Lorenzo Wrestling Complex, widely considered among the best in the nation, gives Penn State athletes a world-class facility for training. The facility encompasses over 24,000 square feet and includes the practice room, weight room, locker room, and academic support space. Home dual meets are held in the main gym at Rec Hall and on occasion at the Bryce Jordan Center.

(The Lorenzo Wrestling Complex also serves as the training facility for the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club, a designated U.S. Olympic Regional Training Center.)

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Penn State Artwork (PDF). November 6, 2017. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  2. ^ "Indiana University Alumni Quarterly". IX. Indiana University Alumni Association. 1922: 210. Retrieved 2010-04-12. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ The Penn State Wrestling Club (2008). A Century of Penn State Wrestling. pp. 18–21. ISBN 978-0-615-19200-0.
  4. ^ http://www.wrestlingstats.com/pennstate/home.php
  5. ^ a b Palmer, Mark (June 3, 2008). "Intermat Rewind: 1953 Penn State". Intermat. Retrieved 2010-04-27.
  6. ^ "Coaches". Penn State University. Retrieved February 19, 2014.

External linksEdit