Thanks to all who attended our end of the year team banquet. It was great to celebrate and honor the team. Being a successful NCAA student-athlete is a great accomplishment. When you realize only about 1% of high school wrestlers go on to compete at the division one level, it is certainly something we should take time to tell the team “good job.”
Last week was a tough one for college wrestling and me personally – Boise State University administrators announced they were dropping wrestling. My heart was broken. When I think of college wrestling I think of Boise State. As a baby, the Boise State wrestling room was the first wrestling room I experienced. At the time, my dad was training with Mike Young and sometimes he would take me with him and put me in the corner of the room while he wrestled. One of my uncles wrestled for Boise State. When I was a sophomore in high school, I competed in a college open tournament at Boise State. Back then, high school athletes could enter. This competition had a big impact on my career as it helped my learning curve and I made huge gains as a result. When I was an assistant coach at Minnesota, we competed at Boise State on one occasion. The gym was packed. When the bleachers filled up, people set on the gym floor all the way up to the edge of the mat. It was a great atmosphere. I have many friends and people I know that have wrestled, coached and supported the program since its inception. I have family members who attended Boise State all the way back to when it was just a 2 year college to the present day. I feel terrible for the current team and coaches whose lives have been turned upside down. It hurts.
This weekend several of our guys will be competing at tournaments. My guess is while at the tournaments, there will be lots of discussion about the loss of the Boise State program and what can be done now. Assistant Coach Canaan Bethea will be competing at the US Open for Freestyle. Sahid Kargbo and Matt Voss will be competing at the World Team Trials in Greco-Roman. Finally we will have a hand-full of guys competing at the NE Regional Championships in the University division. These are great opportunities. I am pleased they get to compete.