- 75% of the total matches were won by Penn State
- Wrestling would draw large crowds in Rec Hall
- Coaches Charlie Speidel and Bill Koll were inducted into the Wrestling Hall of Fame
- In 1909 Studen Harold “Hickey” Smith’s campaigns help move wrestling from annual “class rush” scraps to intercollegiate matches.
- Captain Raymond Craumer scores a fall in the 1stmatch against Cornell.
- Joe Lemyre won a national title at 167 lbs in 1952 and competed on the 1953 national championship team.
- Howard “Red” Johnson was the first PSU wrestler to win a national title, winning in the 165lb weight class in 1935.
- Hud Samson helped PSU win the team national championship over Oklahoma in 1953 by winning the national title at 191lbs.
- Bill Oberly won the NCAA heavyweight championship in 1955. Bill is considered one of the best wrestlers in the country from 1954-1956.
- Johnny Johnston won 3 Easter Wrestling League titles before winning the national championship at 130lbs. in 1957.
- Larry Fornicola won Easter and national championships in 1955 at 137lbs. His collegiate career record was 90-3.
- Charlie “Doc” Speidel coached over 34 seasons (1927-1942, 1947-1964)
o Speidel had 7 undefeated teams, 7 Eastern Wrestling League team titles, 56 individual Easter champions, and 6 individual
- Coach Charlie Speidel was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1979.
o He coached the Lions to a 191-56-13 record in 34 seasons.
- Kerry McCoy won the Hodge Award in 1997 as the nation’s outstanding collegiate wrestler.
o He later competed as a heavyweight in the 2000 Olympics in Australia.
- Coach Bill Koll was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1977.
o Koll coached the Lions to a 127-22-7 record in 14 seasons (1965-1973)
o The coach once said that any wrestler who hadn’t “cussed him” under his breath “wasn’t worth his salt.”
o His teams won 38 straight matches from 1969-1973.
o The home meet winning streak was 41 matches.
o In 1978, Koll switched Ashley Swift to heavyweight realizing that he would not be able to beat the Okalahoma sooner’s
-Swift faced a much heavier opponent, but only needed to win by a close margin.
-He closed the score in the final seconds giving the Lions a one point victory over Oklahoma.
- Andy Matter went 59-2 in dual meets and won national championships in 1971 and 1972.
- John Fritz won the national championship at 126lbs in 1976.
o He went on to coach for PSU form 1993-1998
- Dave Becker won 3 Easter Wrestling League titles from 1976-1978 and placed 3 times in the NCAA finals.
- Dave Joyner, considered a scholar-athlete in wrestling and football, won 3 Eastern Wrestling titles and narrowly missed
capturing the NCAA heavyweight crown in 1971.
- Scott Lynch was a 3 time NCAA placewinner at 134lbs, and won the national title in 1984.
- Jim Martin set school records for matches (168) and wins (155) from 1986-1989.
o He went on to win a national title at 126lbs in 1988.
- Jeff Prescott won consecutive national championships at 118lbs in 1991 and 1992.
o His record of 85-15-2 included a 30-1 senior season.
- Under Coach Rick Lorenzo, from 1979-1992, Penn state won 11 of 14 Eastern Wrestling League (EWL) titles and won national dual meet championships in 1987 and 1991.
o Lorenzo’s teams had a record of 188-64-9 with 53 All Americans and 5 national champions.
o Carl DeStafanis (188lbs) and Scott Lynch (134lbs) helped their team to a 3rdplace NCAA finish in 1984 with
o Jim Martin earned a national crown at 126lbs in 1988 when PSU placed 5thnationally.
o Jeff Prescott, at 118lbs., won 2 straight titles in 1991 and 1992 as the team placed 3rd in both 91 and 92 at the NCAA finals.
- Carl DeStafanis won 3 Eastern titles before claiming the national crown at 118lbs in 1984.
- John Fritz, former PSU national champion in wrestling, followed Rich Lorenzo as head coach and continued PSU’s winning tradition.
o His 1993 team finished with an undefeated season 22-0 and a national dual meet title before falling to Iowa in the Big Ten
tournament by 4.5 points.
- This earned Coach Fritz the National Coach of the Year honors from his fellow coaches.
o Fritz led the Lions to five top 5 finishes in 6 seasons.
o His teams included 4 NCAA champions, 21 All-Americans, and 2 Olympians.
o Heavyweight Kerry McCoy received the 1997 Dan Hodge Trophy as the nations outstanding wrestler.
o Former Lion Troy Sunderland took over the coaching job in 1999 and in 2003 he was named Big Ten Coach of the Year.
- Glenn Pritzlaff won 106 of 135 matches at 174lbs.
o He finished his collegiate career by winning an NCAA championship in 1999.
- John Hughes won 121 career matches including a 1995 national championship.
- Sanshiro Abe won a national championship at 126lbs.
o He also earned the All-American 4 times at Penn State.
o He competed for Japan in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.
- Kerry McCoy won an NCAA title and a Pan American Games gold medal in 1994.
o He went on to compete as a heavyweight on the 2000 U.S. Olympic team.
- Johnny Johnston won 3 Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association titles before claiming the national championship at 130lbs in 1957.
- Conditioning for the season:
o Daily workouts include running and weight lifting.
o Wrestlers use training dummies of different sizes to practice throws, and build strength.
o Coach Bill Koll used to join his team on the mat to demonstrate moves.
o Coach Charlie Speidel twisted pipe cleaners to show proper holds.
- Wrestlers and boxers compete at various weight classes so that athletes of similar size face each other.
o Wrestling and boxing used the same weight classes at the foundation of the two sports at Penn State.
o Modern wrestling teams have changed and added classes as athletes have grown larger with weight training.