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Wrestling 

  •  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

              national champions.

Last Season (2008)

  •  Aaron Anspach advanced to the national final in heavyweight division last year, becoming an All-American with an NCAA runner-up finish and a 22-4 season.
  •  Phil Davis, 3 time All-American, had a 25-8 season and a 5th place finish at the NCAA championships.
  •  Jake Strayer became an All-American and had a 7thplace performance at the NCAA Championships wresting at 133lbs.
  •  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

             Keither Sterns. 

             -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.

How Do You Score?

  •  It is possible for one team to win more matches than the other and wind up with fewer points. This is because each individual victory adds different point totals to the team score.
  •  A pin or fall is worth more than a close decision. 
  •  Close matches often come down to individual bouts that were decided on points.
  •  A wrestler winning a decision can earn from 3-5 team points, depending on the size of his lead when time expired.
  •  A losing wrestler that keeps the bout close may still help the team win.

Scoring in Individual Matches:

  •  Referees award points for specific moves and penalize wresters for violations.
  •  A wrestler can win a match before the time limit by either pinning an opponent or building a lead of 15 or more points.
  •  Example points:

         o   Near Fall---2-3 points.

              -  Holding an opponent in a position close to a pin.

              -  2pts for holding the position for 2-4 seconds; 3pts for 5+ seconds.

         o   Takedown---2 points.

              -  Getting an opponent to the mat earns 2 points.

         o   Reversal---2 points.

              -  From a defensive positon, the wrestler underneath reverses position and ends up on top.

         o   Escape---1 point.

              -  Getting out of an opponent’s grasp from a defensive position on the mat.

         o   Time Advantage---1 point.

              -  An accumulated advantage of riding time in the offensive position over an opponent for more than 1 minute.

  •  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.

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