WRESTLER SPOTLIGHT: UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN’S CAMERON AMINE

  • CLASS:  Redshirt Sophomore
  • POSITION:  165
  • HOMETOWN:  Brighton, Mich.
  • HIGH SCHOOL:  Detroit Catholic Central

Sophomore/Freshman (2020-21)
• Academic All-Big Ten; NWCA All-Academic Team
• U-M Athletic Academic Achievement Award
• NCAA All-American, 165 pounds
• Claimed seventh place at the NCAA Championships (March 18-20) with a 5-2 record
• First Wolverine freshman to earn All-America honors in four seasons (2017)
• Placed third at the Big Ten Championships (March 6-7) with a 4-1 mark
• Defeated Nebraska’s #19 Peyton Robb, 4-1, in the third-place match
• Shared the team wins lead with a 14-4 record, including a 5-1 mark in dual meets
• Used a third-period ride and turn to defeat Penn State’s #6 Joe Lee, 4-1 (Feb. 14)
• Beat Rutgers’ Brett Donner, 10-4, in varsity debut (Jan. 8)

Freshman (2019-20)
• Redshirted season; competed unattached in four open tournaments
• Captured the 165-pound title at the Edinboro Open (Feb. 1) with a 5-0 record
• Runner-up at the Purple Raider Open (Jan. 19) with a 2-1 mark
• Went 4-2 at the Midlands Championships (Dec. 29-30)
• Placed fifth at the Michigan State Open (Nov. 2) 4-2 record
• Defeated Northern Illinois’ Izzak Olejnik, 2-1, in collegiate debut at the MSU Open

Prep
• Graduated from Detroit Catholic Central High School (2019)
• Captured three Michigan state titles, winning at 152 pounds (2019), 145 pounds (2017) and 125 pounds (2016)
• Four-time Michigan state finalist; claimed runner-up honors at 152 pounds as a junior (2018)
• Named the MHSAA 2019 Male Wrestler of the Year
• Michigan recipient of the 2019 Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award
• Posted a career prep record of 167-15, including a 40-0 mark as a senior
• Contributed to three straight DCC Michigan team state titles (2017, ’18, ’19)
• Six-time Fargo All-American; reeled off five straight wins, outscoring his opposition, 53-2, to reach the semifinals in 2018 before an injury forced him to default out of the tournament
• Two-time Super 32 placewinner (2017, ’18), including a runner-up finish as a senior
• Honor Roll
• Ranked as the No. 17 overall recruit by FloWrestling and No. 2-ranked 152-pound wrestler

Personal
• Enrolled in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts; undeclared major
• Born on August 3, 2000
• Son of Sam and Tonya Amine; dad wrestled at Michigan (1988-90)
• Has two siblings, Jordan and Breanna; Jordan wrestled at Michigan (2015-18)
• Uncle, Mike Amine (1986-89) and cousin, Malik Amine (2016-19), also wrestled at Michigan, while cousin, Myles Amine, is currently a fifth-year senior on the Wolverine team

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COACH SPOTLIGHT: PURDUE UNIVERSITY’S TONY ERSLAND


• In seven years, Ersland has secured 16 top-100 recruits and five top-25 recruiting classes … the class of 2016 was ranked No. 6 by FloWrestling, No. 7 by InterMat and No. 8 by WIN Magazine … the class of 2017 was ranked No. 13 by FloWrestling, No. 18 by InterMat and No. 22 by TheOpenMat.com … the InterMat ranking is the third highest for Purdue with records dating to 2004 … Ersland is credited with two of those top three recruiting classes: 2016 and 2017 … the class of 2018 was ranked 18th by FloWrestling and 25th by TheOpenMat.com … the class of 2020 was ranked No. 13 by FloWrestling, No. 20 by InterMat and No. 22 by MatScouts … the class of 2021 was ranked 17th by WIN Magazine, No. 20 by InterMat and No. 22 by MatScouts.
 
• Has sent 45 wrestlers to the NCAA Championships … has matched a program high with eight qualifiers four times in seven years, including the last three years in a row … Purdue previously qualified eight in 1993 and 2003 … the eight qualifiers in 2015 were the most since 2010.
 
• Forty Boilermakers have placed at the Big Ten Championships under Ersland, with eight earning podium finishes in 2020 and 2021 … the eight placewinners match the program record and are the most since 2004 … Purdue placed fifth at the Big Ten Championships in 2020 (83.0 points), marking the Boilermakers’ best conference finish since 1992, and their most points since points 89 in 2004 … the Boilermakers finished sixth in 2021 (76.0 points), marking the first time Purdue finished in the top-six in back-to-back seasons since placing fifth in 1991 and 1992.
 
• Ersland’s squad has ranked in 22 straight NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll’s, dating to Nov. 12, 2019, and has received votes in 57 consecutive polls, every week since the final poll of the 2016-17 season … the Boilermakers have climbed as high as No. 13 in the nation during the streak, earning the votes in three straight weeks in 2018-19, and again in back-to-back weeks during the 2019-20 campaign … Purdue finished the 2019-20 season ranked 15th in the country, the best final ranking for an Ersland-coached team and the top end-of-season mark for the Boilermakers since 2012-13 (No. 14).
 
• The Boilermakers were tabbed 18th in the 2018-19 preseason poll, the highest preseason ranking since 1991-92 … during the season, the Purdue wrestling team climbed as high as No. 13 in Theraworx NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll, the program’s highest ranking in nearly 10 years … the last time Purdue was ranked 13th or higher was Feb. 17, 1999, where the Boilermakers checked in at No. 13.
 
• In 2019-20, Purdue had as many as eight nationally ranked wrestlers at one time, the first time on record in program history, with nine wrestlers earning a national rank at some point during the season … the team repeated the feat in 2020-21, earning nods in eight weight classes simultaneously, and nine different weight classes at some point during the year.
 
• Seventy-two Academic All-Big Ten Conference honors have been earned by 34 Boilermaker wrestlers … has twice broken program highs in number of honorees, first with 10 in 2015-16 and then 13 in 2018-19 and 2019-20.
 
• The 2018-19 squad was ranked 18th on the National Wrestling Coaches Association’s Top-30 Scholar All-American Teams list … it was the first time since 2013 Purdue made the list and was the second highest ranked team among six Big Ten Conference programs among the top 30 … the team repeated its top-30 showing in 2019-20, ranking 28th, and was again 1-of-2 Big Ten teams.
 
• Five Boilermakers were named NWCA Division I Scholar All-American Award winners in 2018-19, setting a new standard for Purdue wrestling … Ben Thornton earned his third NWCA Division I Scholar All-American Award … Max Lyon joined the three-time honoree club in 2021, becoming the sixth in program history … during Ersland’s tenure, nine Boilermakers have been named NWCA Division I Scholar All-American Award winners a combined 15 times.
 
• Three of Ersland’s wrestlers have received the Big Ten Postgraduate Scholarship, a $7,500 scholarship to be used towards graduate degree education: Andrew Hoselton (2016), Ben Thornton (2019) and Dylan Lydy (2020).
 
• Coached Kendric Maple to the 2017 U.S. Open Men’s Freestyle National Championships title at 61 kg … coached Griffin Parriott to the 2017 UWW Junior Freestyle National Championships title at 70 kg.
 
• Put two Boilermakers on the top of the podium at the 2019 Ken Kraft Midlands Championships, marking the first time in program history as Dylan Lydy won the 174-pound championship and Christian Brunner earned the 197-pound crown … coached 2015 Midlands 165-pound title winner Chad Welch to give Purdue its first Midlands champ since 1963 … coached the first two-time Big Ten Wrestler of the Week in Purdue history in Danny Sabatello (2014-15).
 
• At the 2017 Ken Kraft Midlands Championships a program-record seven wrestlers placed, crushing the previous high of four from 2008, 2006 and 1990 … as a team, the Boilermakers totaled 84 points to place seventh … the 84 points are the most they have ever scored at Midlands, topping 2008’s performance of 82.5 points … they combined to score 367 total match points, which was the fifth most among all teams.
 
• Matched the program’s best team finish at the 2019 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, placing fifth with 92.5 points, the most ever for the Boilermakers since they began attending the tournament in 2002 … had three individuals advance to the finals as Dylan Lydy won the 174-pound championship, while Devin Schroder and Christian Brunner were runner-up at 125 and 197, respectively … had five individuals place, matching the program’s best mark set in 2004.
 
• In 2015, Tony Ersland was one of nine head coaches that were in their first season as a Division I head coach and one of 13 coaches that were in their first year at the helm of their respective program … his eight NCAA qualifiers were the most among both groups … he was also the only coach among both groups to have his team in the final USA Today/NWCA Coaches Poll.

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WRESTLER SPOTLIGHT: INDIANA TECH UNIVERSITY’S CONNER GIMSON

  • Class:  Junior
  • Weight Class:  133
  • Hometown:  Elkhart, Ind.
  • High School: Jimtown HS
  • Major:  Criminal Justice

2020-21: Went 8-2 as a sophomore…recorded eight two falls…NAIA National Champion at 133-lbs…WHAC Runner-Up to twin brother Matt at 133-lbs…took first place at the Adrian Invite…WHAC All-Academic Team…NWCA Scholar All-American…CoSIDA Academic All-District Team.

2019-20: Went 26-10 as a freshman…recorded eight falls, two tech falls and two major decisions…earned NAIA All-America honors with an seventh-place finish at the NAIA National Championships, defeating twin brother Matt in a match of rock-paper-scissors…Sooner Athletic Conference champion, defeating Matt in the finals…took third at the Patriot Open, Trine Invitational and Indiana Little State Championships…NWCA Scholar All-America Team selection… Selected to the Academic All-SAC Team.

High School: Four-time varsity letter winner for the Jimmies…also played football.

Major: Criminal Justice

Personal: Twin brother Matthew also wrestles for Tech.

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COACH SPOTLIGHT: DREXEL UNIVERSITY’S MATT AZEVEDO

Matt Azevedo, the Mert and Joanne Hill Head Coach of Wrestling, is in his 11th season as head coach of Drexel Wrestling in 2021-22 after joining the Dragons in April 2011 following successful coaching stints at Cornell and Cal Poly. Azevedo has led the program’s resurgence and ushered in a new era of Drexel Wrestling in the EIWA. The 2020 inductee into the California Wrestling Hall of Fame is the eighth head coach in the school’s history and replaced Jack Childs, who retired after 35 seasons at Drexel.The Dragons have climbed onto the national scene and into the national rankings under Azevedo. The Dragons earned their first USA Today/NWCA DI Coaches Poll national ranking under Azevedo and remained ranked in the Top 25 for six weeks during the 2016-17 season. The following year, the Dragons finished the 2017-18 regular season ranked in the top 25 of four separate polls – USA Today/NWCA DI Coaches, FloWrestling, Intermat tournament and Intermat dual – for the first time in program history.

On the mat, the Dragons have won 78 matches, including 10-win seasons in three of the last six years under Azevedo’s guidance. In 2016-17, Drexel finished with 13 dual victories, its most since the 2006-07 season. The Dragons have taken down ranked nationally ranked opponents in three of the last six years – No. 21 Rider, 18-14, in Feb. 2018; No. 25 Princeton in Dec. 2016; and No. 20 Northwestern, 21-20, in Nov. 2015. Drexel also dramatically came back to tie the overall score at 20-20 on a late third-period pin against No. 5 Lehigh in Dec. 2017, despite the Mountain Hawks winning on criteria. The Dragons also recorded major victories over Penn in 2016, their first since 1989, against Hofstra in 2013, their first since 1997, and against Binghamton in 2020, their first since 2006.

Azevedo has coached 38 NCAA Wrestling Championships qualifiers in his first 10 seasons at the helm. Despite having the 2019-20 season cut short and the 2020-21 season shortened due to the pandemic, the Dragons had all 10 wrestlers place at the EIWA Championships for the first time in program history and sent a program-best (tied with 2002 season) six wrestlers  to the NCAA Tournament in St. Louis. Parker Kropman (157) Michael O’Malley (174), and Bryan McLaughlin (197) each qualified for their second appearance in tournament while Julian Flores (141), Luke Nichter (149) and Evan Barczak (165) each received their first automatic bid to NCAA’s. In 2020, Antonio Mininno (125), Michael O’Malley (174) and Bryan McLaughlin (197) earned automatic bids to their first-ever championships, and Ebed Jarrell (165) received an at-large selection to the tournament. Additionally, Parker Kropman (157) was named the first alternate at his weight class. In 2019, Drexel qualified four Dragons for the NCAA Championships in Pittsburgh: Kropman (149), Jarrell (165), Stephen Loiseau (197) and Joey Goodhart (285). In 2018, the Dragons sent a then program-best five wrestlers to Cleveland, Ohio for NCAAs.

Three Dragons have gone on to win three conference championships during Azevedo’s tenure. Matt Cimato took home the EIWA title at 149 pounds in 2016 the year after Kevin Devoy won the EIWA title at 133 pounds in 2015. In 2013, 197-pounder Brandon Palik became Drexel’s final CAA champion. The Dragons have seen the EIWA podium become commonplace over the last eight years as 47 wrestlers have placed at the conference tournament. In 2021, Drexel had all 10 wrestlers place at EIWA’s, passing the previous program-record eight in 2018. The Dragons performance was highlighted by a second-place finish by Michael O’Malley (174), a third place finish by Luke Nichter (149) and three fourth-place finishes by Julian Flores (141), Bryan McLaughlin (197) and Evan Barczak (165).

In the classroom, Drexel Wrestling has been a standout academic program in the nation. Drexel finished as an NWCA DI Top 30 All-Academic Team for the eighth-straight season and has boasted the nation’s best team GPA twice. In 2021, the Dragons earned a spot as the seventh highest GPA in the nation at 3.46 and led the list of individual honorees. In 2020, the Dragons claimed high honors with a 3.59 GPA. The year prior, the Dragons were the top academic DI wrestling team in the country with a program-best 3.63 GPA. The Dragons have had 27 NWCA Academic All-America individual selections during that time, including 10 in 2021 – Kyle Waterman, Chandler Olson, Jaxon Maroney, Tyler Williams, Gabe Onorato, Jared Donahue, Luke Nichter, Parker Kropman, Evan Barczak and Michael O’Malley. Thirty-nine wrestlers have earned EIWA All-Academic Team selections since the award began in 2016, including eight in 2021 – Kyle Waterman, Chandler Olson, Luke Nichter, Parker Kropman, Evan Barczak, Michael O’Malley, Bryan McLaughlin and Sean O’Malley, and eight in 2020 – Owen Brooks, Vincent Foggia, Jarrell, Kropman, Michael O’Malley, Sean O’Malley, Chase Shields and Tyler Williams. Also, 11 wrestlers have been named Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area At-Large Team selections, including Jarrell in 2020 when he was named a co-performer of the year. Jarrell capped a stellar five-year career in University City with an appearance on the CoSIDA Academic All-District 2 Men’s At-Large Team.

While at Cornell, Azevedo helped the Big Red earn nine All-America honors, nine EIWA champions and seven Academic All-Americans. He also guided the team to back-to-back second-place finishes at the NCAA championships, which marked the best performance in school history. Prior to his time at Cornell, Azevedo spent seven seasons as an assistant coach at Cal Poly, where he coached seven All-Americans and eight Pac-10 champions. He also helped guide Cal Poly to its highest finish in school history at the Pac-10 championships by placing second in 2004 and 2006.

Azevedo wrestled collegiately at Arizona State and Iowa State, each for two seasons. He advanced to the NCAA Tournament in three of his four seasons. Azevedo graduated with a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from Iowa State in 2002. He continued his wrestling career after graduation and went on to be a seven-time U.S. National place winner, two-time U.S. National Team member and won the 2008 U.S. Open National Championship.

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INTERVIEW WITH BREWTON PARKER COLLEGE’S COACH DEVANE DODGENS

Director of the Mens and Womens wrestling teams for Brewton Parker College, Coach Devane Dodgens is a young coach building a solid team with a system and methodology built on a strong foundation of learning from some of the best coaches in the sport and experience. He comes to us with coaching experience from 3 top 10 NAIA programs and is building a strong program in BPC. We are excited to have him over. Our interview with him is below.

After a competitive career with being a 2x AA you jumped right into the coaching, can you give us a breakdown of your experience after graduating and the lead up to BPC Director.

Coach D – My experience jumping straight into coaching was a fantastic one and set me up to be a great coach. I got to work under 3 college head coaches and did my time before taking a head coaching job. I worked under Jeff Bedard who is the Reinhardt men’s head coach ( they are 4x conference champs and qualified all 12 wrestlers to the national tournament the last 2 years, along with finishing in the top 15 of NAIA. Coach B taught me a lot about being confident in what I was teaching and getting to know the people that you are coaching better. Next, I got to learn under Jameel Bryant who is the head coach at Lindsey Wilson College. They are also a top 10 NAIA program and before Jameel got there he had help coach SEU to their best finish at nationals with 2 national champs. I learned that you can be fun and work hard at the same time under Bryant. I also learned everything about hand fighting and head outsides shots from him. Then I got to coach under the great Omi Acosta. (NAIA national champs and was voted coach of the year recently, funny side note I was his first All-American when I was actually good at wrestling !) Coach O reached you how to motivate someone to literally run through walls for you. He believes in setting the right structure and organization. The #LUCHA lifestyle isn’t just a phase, it’s a lifestyle and Omi truly believes in living it and passing it along to everyone he works with. Lastly, Nate Ethridge was someone I got to train and work under. I was a 2x state champ for him in high school. A lot like Coach Omi coach Ethridge cares more about just being a wrestler. He wants whoever he works with to be accountable and to grow in their personal lives.  The amount of time and technique he puts into each and every person he works with motivates me daily to continue to do better and do more.  taking my time and learning under these guys before I went to be a head coach is something I wouldn’t trade for the world.

Now going into what is I believe your 3rd year at BPC and 1st year as Director of both the mens at the women’s programs, what can you tell us about what to expect for the coming years?

Coach D – Our guys team is in great hands under Coach Kenny Mason and I fully am expecting them back in the top 20 this year in terms of wrestling. I also am expecting them to compete in the duals and finish in the top 6. I think with the young guys we have it is very doable. From there I would like coach Kenny to keep building and instilling the culture that he thinks is necessary. I expect us in the top 10 by 2022-2023 in terms of grades and wrestling. I expect us to be one of the three great college men’s teams in Georgia. i.e Us, Reinhardt, and Life !!

And for our Ladies program, the time to use the “we are a young team” as an excuse is over. I expect 3/4 of my team to be academic all Americans and I fully expect us to finish in the top 10 this year. We have all the tools here with coach Cruz, Emily, and Jonchuck working closely with both programs so there are no excuses. My hope is to place ladies at UWW, U23, and have some national champs/ all Americans this year. We already got off to a good start but we need to do better and keep growing on and off the mat. My hope is to build a dynasty where young ladies from all over (especially Florida) can come and get an education all the while competing with the nation’s best and growing as people.

Along with coaching are you also looking for a run on the senior circuit?

Coach D – I am actually even if it’s just competing. The biggest drawback that coaches like coach Sword from life have is that they have competed in the main event. That experience alone is so useful in coaching and I just have not been able to get that yet. But I do have plans to make a run when the circuit restarts at the end of this year.

We are looking forward to having you over, what can you tell us about what you have lined up for us October 10th?


Coach D – I have our men’s coach coming down along with some of the ladies and men.  We plan on showing a different viewpoint on hand fighting, drills, and of course getting live wrestling in. We are basically going to try to take these young men and women through a college-level warm-up, drill, and get some matches in, so they know what they are expecting when they get to the next level.

‍‍Coach, where can student athletes who are interested in Brewton Parker being their next step reach you guys or get more info?

Women’s Head Coach and Wrestling Director

Devane Dodgens
231-580-6458
ddodgens@bpc.edu

Men’s Head Coach

Kenny Mason
229-300-7608
kmason1@bpc.edu

BPC recruit me
Women | Brewton-Parker College (Georgia) Athletics (bpcathletics.com)

BPC visitation- If times or dates don’t work please reach out to coaches
BPC Visit Page

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WRESTLER SPOTLIGHT: OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY’S JAMIEN HOOD

As found on Ohio State University’s website, below is Jaimen Hood’s bio. Learn about this wrestler’s career:

WEIGHT: 133

YEAR: Senior

HOMETOWN: Mason, Ohio

HIGH SCHOOL: Mason

CAREER HONORS

  • Academic All-Big Ten (2019)
  • OSU Scholar-Athlete (2018, 2019)

YEAR-BY-YEAR

2018-19 (Redshirt Freshman)

  • Posted an overall record of 10-6 while competing in four open tournaments
  • Picked up bonus points in half of his victories with two major decision, two pins and a tech fall
  • Placed third in the Ohio Intercollegiate Open (‘White’ Division) and sixth in the Findlay Open
  • Traveled to Costa Rica for a service-learning trip collaboration between Ohio State Athletics, SASSO and Student-Athletes Abroad

2017-18 (Redshirt)

  • Earned three wins while competing in the Cleveland State Open and Purple Raider Open
  • Garnered bonus points in both triumphs at the Purple Raider Open, registering a major decision and pin

PRIOR TO OHIO STATE

  • Ohio high school state runner-up in 2017, capping a 43-5 senior season
  • Also qualified for the state tournament as a junior

PERSONAL

  • Son of Marie and Carlos Hood
  • Siblings – Chara (sister), Dasia (sister), Kiera (sister), Max (brother), Zack (brother)
  • Mechanical engineering major”

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WRESTLER SPOTLIGHT: UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH’S NINO BONACCORSI

As found on University of Pittsburgh’s website, below is Nino Bonaccorsi’s bio. Learn about this wrestler’s career:

Class: Redshirt Junior

Weight: 197

Hometown: Bethel Park, PA

High School: Bethel Park

Career Highlights

NCAA Qualifier (2019, 2020, 2021)

ACC Champion (2021)

NWCA All-American (2020)

ACC Runner-Up (2019)

All-ACC Wrestling Team (2019)

ACC Wrestler of the Week (2/12/19, 2/2/21)

Gold Standard Teammate of the Year (2020)

 2020-21 (197): Owns a 9-1 record entering the NCAA Championships…received the No. 6 seed for nationals after a stellar first season at 197 pounds…won his first ACC title by defeating Virginia’s Jay Aiello 10-4 in Raleigh on Feb. 28…posted a 6-1 record for Pitt in duals…his only defeat came against NC State freshman Isaac Trumble…developed a reputation as one of the nation’s most attacking upperweights…averaged more than 10 points per match in his wins that went the distance…named ACC Wrestler of the Week on Feb. 2 after beating then-No. 3 Jay Aiello of Virginia by a 7-5 decision in the dual in Charlottesville.

2019-20 (184): Posted a 23-5 record and earned NWCA All-American status…placed third at the ACC Championship and qualified for his second NCAA Championships…received the No. 10 seed at 184 pounds for NCAAs…tallied 11 major decisions, one technical fall and three pins for a total of 15 bonus-point wins…beat No. 2 Hunter Bolen of Virginia Tech in the dual…went 11-3 in duals with a 4-1 ACC record…won the Michigan State Open to begin the season…selected Gold Standard Teammate of the Year by his fellow Panthers.

2018-19 (184): Went 21-8 on the season with a 13-3 record in duals and 8-5 at tournaments … Earned a runner-up finish at the ACC Championship and earned All-ACC status … Qualified for the NCAA Championships in Pittsburgh where he recorded two wins over No. 20 Will Sumner of Utah Valley and No. 4 Emery Parker of Illinois … Ranked as high as No. 10 by InterMat at 184 pounds … Recorded numerous wins over ranked opponents, including No. 3 Nick Reenan of NC State and No. 14 Chip Ness of North Carolina … Was named ACC Wrestler of the Week after his win over Reenan.

 2017-18 (184): Redshirt season … Wrestled in open tournaments unattached … Finished 19-4 in tournament competition … Competed in Clarion, Mat Town, Cleveland State and Edinboro Open as well as Midlands … Placed first at Mat Town Open after going 3-1 … Earned 12 decisions, three major decisions and two pins … Reeled off nine consecutive wins in middle of season … Pinned Rider’s Matt McKenzie in 1:34 at Mat Town Open … Pinned Virginia’s Jack Miller in 2:04 at Mat Town Open.

 HIGH SCHOOL: Finished high school with an impressive 147-21 career record at Bethel Park … Finished high school career ranked second in the country … Two-time PIAA runner-up (2016, 2017) … Two-time WPIAL Champion (2016, 2017) … Three-time Section Champion (2015, 2016, 2017) … FloNationals and PowerAde Champion in 2016 … PowerAde runner-up in 2015 … Four-time Tournament of Champions champion … Super 32 finalist in 2016 and placed third in 2015 … Winner of Dapper Dan and USA Dream Team All-Star matches.

By the Numbers

2020-21 (Pitt): 9-1 – 1st at ACC, No. 6 Seed at NCAAs

2019-20 (Pitt): 23-5 – 3rd at ACC, NWCA All-America

2018-19 (Pitt): 21-8 – 2nd at ACC, 2-2 at NCAA

2017-18 (Unattached): 23-5

Career Record: 76-19

Career Record for Pitt: 53-14

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COACH SPOTLIGHT: LEHIGH UNIVERSITY’S PAT SANTORO

He played an integral role in the renaissance of the Lehigh wrestling program in the late 1990s. In his first year back, he led the Mountain Hawks to a school-record 23 dual wins, a second place EIWA finish, and was named EIWA Coach of the Year. In his 10th season, Bethlehem native Pat Santoro led the Mountain Hawks to the top of the EIWA, winning the program’s first EIWA title since 2006 and 35th overall. That accomplishment, plus a 12-3 dual season that resulted in a No. 8 final dual meet ranking, led to Santoro to earn NWCA National Coach of the Year honors. Santoro enters his 14th season looking to maintain Lehigh’s perch at the top of the EIWA, while molding the Mountain Hawks into a perennial top ten team and national championship contender. Santoro was hired in April, 2008 as just the eighth head coach in program history. He holds the title as the Lawrence White Head Coach of Wrestling at Lehigh.
A six-time EIWA Coach of the Year, Santoro has mentored two NCAA Champions at Lehigh, the second of which, Darian Cruz won the 125-pound title in 2017. He has led 20 individuals to a total of 31 EIWA titles, while guiding 17 men to 31 total All-American honors. Santoro finished the 2020-21 season with a dual meet record of 159-60-1 at Lehigh.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020-21 was the most unusual of seasons. Santoro guided the Mountain Hawks through several preseason training starts and stoppages. COVID related cancellations shorted an already abbreviated season to seven duals, but the Mountain Hawks performed at their best at the end of February. Lehigh pulled away from the field to win its fourth consecutive EIWA team championship at Spooky Nook Sports Complex in Manheim, Pa. The Mountain Hawks crowned four individual champions, including heavyweight Jordan Wood who became a four-time EIWA champion, and qualified all 10 entrants for the NCAA Championships. For his efforts, Santoro captured his sixth EIWA Coach of the Year award.
Santoro led Lehigh to its third straight EIWA team title in 2019-20, capping a strong 12-3 dual meet season that saw Santoro reach a pair of personal milestones. Lehigh’s 19-14 victory at Cornell on Jan. 11 was Santoro’s 150th as the Mountain Hawks’ head coach. A week later, Lehigh defeated Navy 23-9 for the 200th head coaching victory of Santoro’s career.
The 2019-20 season saw Lehigh defeat a pair of top five opponents in duals, as the Mountain Hawks opened the dual season with a criteria win over No. 4 Oklahoma State and closed it with a victory over No. 5 Arizona State.
A tight battle was expected at the EIWA Championships at Stabler Arena, but the Mountain Hawks rose to the challenge. Lehigh had nine place winners, five finalists and three champions on the way to its third straight team title. All three individual champions were repeat titlists, as Jordan Kutler and Jordan Wood won their third consecutive conference titles and Josh Humphreys won his second straight. For his efforts, Santoro was named EIWA Coach of the Year for the fifth time.
Despite the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament in Minnesota, five Mountain Hawks were recognized as All-Americans by the NWCA: conference champions Humphreys, Kutler and Wood plus juniors Brandon Paetzell and Chris Weiler.
For the 2018-19 Mountain Hawks, it was a matter not of how they started, but how they finished. A rash of early-season injuries and a challenging schedule led to an 0-7 dual start, but the Mountain Hawks rebounded winning nine of their last 11 duals. Lehigh knocked-off EIWA rival Cornell during the dual season and then beat the Big Red again at the EIWA Championships to secure the program’s second straight EIWA team title and 36th overall.
Junior Jordan Kutler and sophomore Jordan Wood won their second consecutive EIWA titles, while freshman Josh Humphreys also won an individual championship. The Mountain Hawks qualified eight wrestlers for the NCAA Championships in Pittsburgh and continued their strong finish to the season, crowning three All-Americans, while having two others fall just one win short of All-America status as part of a 13th place finish. Kutler earned his second straight podium finish while Wood and senior Ryan Preisch earned All-America honors for the first time.
The Mountain Hawks also achieved off the mat, with Lehigh ranking 15th among Division I wrestling programs in terms of GPA of their postseason starting lineup and six of Lehigh’s NCAA qualifiers were named to the NWCA All-Academic Team.
Santoro led Lehigh to its 35th EIWA team title and first since 2006 with an impressive 164.5 point performance in 2018. The Mountain Hawks crowned five individual EIWA champions and had all 10 wrestlers earn berths for the NCAA Championships. After leading Lehigh to its first league title in 12 seasons, Santoro was named EIWA Coach of the Year for the fourth time. He also led Lehigh to a top 10 dual meet finish as the Mountain Hawks posted a 12-3 dual record that included a convincing win over then-No. 4 Michigan while also pushing No. 1 Penn State to the bring in a 23-19 loss in front of a Lehigh home dual record crowd of 9,896 at PPL Center in Allentown.
Prior to the NCAA Tournament, Santoro was named NWCA National Coach of the Year, for Lehigh’s performance during the dual season and EIWA Tournament. At the national tournament, Santoro’s Lehigh team produced three All-Americans, with Darian Cruz becoming a three-time All-American, Scott Parker earning his second medal and Jordan Kutler reaching the podium for the first time. Three other Lehigh wrestlers finished one win short of All-America honors.
Darian Cruz’s national title capped a successful campaign for the Mountain Hawks in 2016-17. Lehigh went 10-4 in duals and finished third at the Southern Scuffle during the regular season. The Mountain Hawks competed in the NWCA National Duals Championship Series for the second consecutive season, avenging a loss to Rutgers a year prior with a 23-10 win inside Leeman-Turner Arena at Grace Hall. Darian Cruz and Scott Parker won individual EIWA titles at the first two weights and both wrestlers went on to earn All-America honors, with Parker finishing eighth at 133 in addition to Cruz’s national title. Three other wrestlers fell just short of All-America honors as Lehigh finished 12th at the NCAA Championships. Seven Mountain Hawks qualified for the NCAA Championships with all seven winning at least one match.
Santoro earned his third EIWA Coach of the Year award in 2015-16. He led the Mountain Hawks to a 13-3 dual record that included Lehigh’s first win over rival Cornell since 2011. Lehigh went 7-0 against EIWA opponents and represented the conference in the NWCA National Duals Championship Series. The Mountain Hawks finished second at the EIWA Championships with lineup bookends Darian Cruz and Max Wessell winning their first career titles. All 10 Mountain Hawks placed at the EIWA Tournament while nine wrestlers qualified for the NCAA Championships.
Lehigh crowned three All-Americans at the NCAA Championships for the third straight year with Wessell and Randy Cruz earning their first career All-America medals, while Nathaniel Brown became a two-time All-American. The Mountain Hawks finished 14th as a team at Madison Square Garden.
In 2014-15, Santoro earned his 100th victory as Lehigh’s head coach when the Mountain Hawks upset eventual NCAA Champion Ohio State in the quarterfinals of the NWCA National Duals. The win over Ohio State was one of the highlights of a season that saw the Mountain Hawks go 14-6 in duals.
Lehigh’s lineup featured just two seniors but a strong core of sophomores and juniors continued to impress. Randy Cruz won his second EIWA title to help lead Lehigh to a second place conference finish. Nathaniel Brown reached the NCAA finals at 184 while Mason Beckman and Mitch Minotti earned All-America honors for the second straight year. As a team the Mountain Hawks finished 13th at the NCAA Championships.
Santoro led the 2013-14 Lehigh squad through the ups and downs that come with a young roster.
The Mountain Hawks’ regular lineup featured just one senior and no juniors but a young talented group managed to win ten duals. Lehigh enjoyed a strong EIWA tournament, with Mason Beckman winning an individual title to lead the Mountain Hawks to a second place finish. The young Mountain Hawks soared at the NCAA Championships with freshmen Darian Cruz and Mitch Minotti joining Beckman in earning All-America honors, giving Lehigh at least three All-Americans for the third time in four years. Cruz and Minotti were Lehigh’s first freshmen All-Americans since 2003 with Cruz also becoming Lehigh’s first true freshman All-American in 34 years.
In 2012-13, Santoro worked with a young team that battled through injuries and a string of bad luck and helped guide the Mountain Hawks to ten dual meet wins. Three individuals won individual EIWA titles including Randy Cruz, who became Lehigh’s first true freshman EIWA champion since 1980. Under Santoro’s guidance Robert Hamlin became Lehigh’s 16th three-time All-American and reached the NCAA finals for the second time in his career.
Under Santoro’s direction, Lehigh continued to make strides in 2011-12. The Mountain Hawks finished eighth at the NCAA Championships for the second straight year and once again had two finalists in Zack Rey and Brandon Hatchett. Lehigh crowned four All-Americans, its most since having five in 2004. At the EIWA Championships, Santoro guided the Mountain Hawks within a mere 2.5 points of the team title. Hamlin won his second straight EIWA title, while Hatchett won his first. Shane Welsh was the surprise of the tournament, capturing the title at 149 from the No. 6 seed. Lehigh’s three championships were its most since 2006. For his efforts, Santoro was voted EIWA Coach of the Year for the second time.
Santoro’s third season in Bethlehem proved to be his best to date on the national level. Lehigh returned to the top ten at the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2006 with an eighth place finish. The Mountain Hawks crowned three All-Americans for the first time in five years and placed two wrestlers in the NCAA finals for the first time since 2003. Rey became Santoro’s first national champion and the 27th in Lehigh history with his triumph in Philadelphia. Lehigh enjoyed another strong dual meet season, going 15-6 and finishing eighth in the national rankings. The Mountain Hawks took second at the EIWA Championships with Hamlin winning an individual title, a precursor to his second place NCAA finish.
In 2009-10, Santoro guided the Mountain Hawks to a 16-3-1 dual record and a top-ten national dual meet ranking for most of the season. Lehigh had a record six place-winners at the Midlands Championships and reached the finals at the Virginia Duals for the second straight season. In March, Santoro guided Rey to an EIWA title and All-America honors with a third place finish at the NCAA Championships, the program’s first All-American in four years.
Santoro produced an immediate turnaround in his first season back in Bethlehem. The Mountain Hawks won their first 15 duals to start the season, including victories over the likes of Maryland, Michigan, Penn State and Lehigh’s first-ever dual win over Oklahoma State. The team’s 23-1 dual mark surpassed the school record for dual wins in a season. Santoro guided Seth Ciasulli and David Craig to individual EIWA Championships, while the Mountain Hawks finished second in the conference and qualified seven wrestlers for the NCAA Championships.
Before returning to Lehigh, Santoro spent the previous five years as the head coach at the University of Maryland where he helped resurrect the Terrapins program, which in 2008 captured its first ACC title in 35 years; a feat which earned Santoro ACC Coach of the Year honors. That year, the Terps went 16-4 and entered the national rankings for the first time since 1993, climbing as high as No. 21. Under Santoro’s guidance, Maryland crowned its first All-American since 1997 en route to a top-25 team finish at the NCAA Championships. Santoro posted a 48-41-1 record in five seasons at College Park, including an impressive 33-9 dual mark his last two seasons.
Prior to his stint at Maryland Santoro served as an assistant at Lehigh for nine years, including eight seasons as the top assistant on Greg Strobel’s staff. During his initial tenure, Santoro was part of some of the most successful teams in school history. In 2003, Santoro was named the national Assistant Coach of the Year by the National Wrestling Coaches Association, after helping guide the Brown and White to its third EIWA title in four years, and a fourth place finish at the NCAA Championships, at the time the program’s best finish in 24 years.
Before coming to Lehigh, Santoro spent the 1993-94 season as an assistant coach at Duquesne and the two seasons prior to that as a graduate assistant at Penn State.
Regarded throughout the community as one of the sport’s top teachers and recruiters, Santoro has enjoyed success at every level of wrestling, both as a coach and a competitor. After wrestling for Bethlehem Catholic High School and taking a post-graduate year at Blair Academy, Santoro wrestled collegiately at the University of Pittsburgh, where he became the Panthers’ only four-time All-America while capturing national titles in 1988 and 1989 at 142 pounds. A three-time Eastern Wrestling League Champion, he was the recipient of Pittsburgh’s Golden Panther Award in 1989, recognizing the outstanding athlete of the year.
On the international scene, Santoro enjoyed a stellar career which spanned nearly a decade. He was a four time member of the U.S. National Team between 1995 and 1999 and served as an alternate for the 1996 Olympic Team and the 1999 World Team. Santoro placed fourth at the 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials, third at the 1992 Olympic Trials and was runner-up in the 1992 U.S. Open Freestyle Championships.
Santoro earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Pittsburgh in 1992. In addition to his Bethlehem roots and previous coaching stint at Lehigh, Santoro’s father, uncle and brother all wrestled for the Brown and White.
Santoro and his wife Julie have a daughter, Leah and a son, Mack.

Career Milestones
2021……. Led Lehigh to fourth straight EIWA title
…………… Named EIWA Coach of the Year for the sixth time
2020……. Named EIWA Coach of the Year for the fifth time
…………… Led Lehigh to third consecutive EIWA title
2019……. Led Lehigh to back-to-back EIWA team titles
2018……. Guided Lehigh to first EIWA title in 12 years
…………… EIWA Coach of the Year
…………… NWCA National Coach of the Year
2017……. Coached second NCAA Champion (Darian Cruz)
2016……. EIWA Coach of the Year
2012……. EIWA Coach of the Year
2011……. Coached first NCAA Champion (Zack Rey)
2009……. EIWA Coach of the Year
…………… Led Lehigh to school single-season record 23 dual wins
2008……. ACC Coach of the Year
…………… Guided Maryland to first ACC title in 35 years
2007……. Led Maryland to school record-tying 17 dual wins
2003……. NWCA National Assistant Coach of the Year
1995-03… Coached four EIWA Championship teams and four
…………… NCAA top ten teams as Lehigh assistant coach
1993-94… Duquesne assistant coach
1991-93… Penn State assistant coach
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NEW JERSEY SOCIAL MEDIA TALK: WHERE TAKEDOWNS OCCUR REGULARLY

For wrestling fans, Olympic wrestling provides much to root for and talk about. Following is a conversation from The New Jersey Wrestling Forum Facebook page:

On August 2 at 10:43 a.m. Patrick Eichner posted, “I know this is sacrilegious and my buddy Glenn Hall Sr will yell at me but…I find Greco to be boring”

Don Murphy posted, “I agree 100%”

Lynn Pohl responded, “Add me to the will be yelled at list–I love Folkstyle over FS & GR–and, I love good old boring RIDING ! Don’t like let em up and take em down and flip em over at will for 2 each time”

Patrick Eichner replied, “agree”

Patrick Eichner then stated, “Lynn Pohl the only time I like “take em down and let em up” style is when you need to make a statement, like Burroughs over Winston in Philly. You knew what he was doing and why but still didn’t believe your eyes. The changing of the guard indeed!”

Lynn Pohl added, “I like ride em and turn em and hold them there for more than a second–only thing I like in FS is the pushout rule–I don’t like wrestling the edge”

Patrick Eichner said, “totally agree. Something majestic about being up by 1 and riding a guy out.”

Carl Winshel responded, “Enjoyed watching dake ride molinaro in NCAA finals. Don’t enjoy take down and let him up”

Steve Alpaugh stated, “The thing I don’t like about FS is leg laces that become 8 point moves and a wrestler can completely dominate a bout, th d n gets leg laced ot gut wrench Ed in closing minutes and it’s over. I hate 30 second bouts due to a takedown and leg lace. I do love the push out rule.”

Jim Shields commented, “Lynn Pohl the boringness of greco is only surpassed by riding time/stalling. I enjoy HS rules the best if you are not working for a fall you are stalling.”

Glenn Hall replied, “Patrick Eichner Has to Agree if you’re watching the best go at it, if you watched so GR at Fargo you might change your mind. {Get Mad at U, “NEVAAR”

Glenn Hall then said, “Patrick Eichner I have been to Three GR Cadet National Duals, Four Jr GR Duals & the GR World Team Trials, believe Me at that Leval it is not as Boooooring as you might expect. You are judging something that you see every “FOUR” Years, not saying that doesn’t Qualify you to Judge GR but

Rob Kulessa added, “I’m glad I’m not the only one.”

Chip Griswold III replied, “Variety is the spice of life! All three styles contribute to the accomplished grappler.

Patrick Eichner responded, “I agree with that statement Chip but would prefer to have Greco as a “training tool” than a tournament.”

Chip Griswold III then commented, “Patrick Eichner

  1. Folk
  2. FS
  3. G”

Patrick Eichner agreed, “exactly”

Edward Gibbons posted, “Chip Griswold III 1. Folk

  1. Folk
  2. Folk”

Stephen Friedman added, “Chip Griswold III that be me”

Andy Cy commented, “1) folk 2) jiu jitsu 3) judo 4) freestyle 5) greco”

Jim Eggie also agreed, “No shit”

Jeffrey Parker noted, “Greco-Roman skills may not be exciting to the novice eye. However it takes a great deal of strength and skill to be successful at this discipline as in all wrestling.”

Frank Salerno posted, “I don’t find it boring but I agree it does not appeal to fans when they are only exposed to it infrequently. That’s tough to overcome because without any background understanding, it can come across as unexciting.”

Joe DiBiase added, “greco is the worst, like watching paint dry,AND I love most other forms of the sport, it needs to go. FYI I am not saying it isnt diffucult!! Just boring”

Sharon Stoll said, “Greco-Roman was interesting until they instituted to rules. Some of the competitors still are more aggressive but too few.”

Sharon Stoll followed up with, “New rules”

Anthony Ferraioli commented, “You guys apparently never wrestled Greco !! Very technical, strength , conditioning, just a different form !!”

Stephen Friedman posted, “Folk free” and a GIF that says “It’s like watching paint dry.”

Dommy Rome replied, “And they keep blowing the damn whistle- stopping the action”

Michael Rastelli added, “I’d rather watch a tied soccer game, or paint dry than Greco-Roman wrestling. I still watch it, but I can’t stand it. I couldn’t stand Greco practices at my club in high school, much to the chagrin of my club coach, Vern Zellner.”

Raymond Miro responded, “Michael Rastelli Soccer????

Bet Posey posted, “I love Greco. But my boys loved it too. I loved watching them. But watching the olympics last night, I was at a total loss watching the scoring. They stopped and started so many times and watched video and had a cocktail break. Not sure that I like the scoring part. It probably changed years ago and Since I rarely get to see it much anymore, I didn’t know. But they took away far more than they gave last night. Not the athletes. But the officials.”

Stephen Friedman commented, “The refs are like WWF refs”

Ben Scasserra added, “Stephen Friedman refs are horrible!!!!”

Stephen Friedman replied, “Ben Scasserra not sure of any scoring, penalties, or anything, therefore can’t comment. If Greco is all there is then might have to watch other competitions”

Ben Scasserra then said, “A chess match.”

Roy Dragon replied, “I enjoyed wrestling Greco but watching it is tough. It also seems that the higher the level the less scoring.”

Doug Kroeger posted, “I like it when both wrestlers are wearing headgear. Then I know that I know the rules.”

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COACH SPOTLIGHT: UNIVERISTY OF MICHIGAN’S SEAN BORMET

As found on the University of Michigan’s website, below is head coach Sean Bormet’s bio. Read about this coach’s career:

“Sean Bormet is in his third season as head coach of the University of Michigan wrestling program in 2020-2021. He was named the 10th head coach in the history of the Michigan wrestling program on March 27, 2018, after spending seven years as the Wolverines’ top assistant, including four as associate head coach.

In Bormet’s first season at the helm, the Wolverines posted a 13-1 dual-meet record, including an 8-1 mark in Big Ten duals, to rank fourth in the final NWCA Coaches poll and claimed fifth place at the NCAA Championships behind All-Americans Stevan Micic (133 pounds), Alec Pantaleo (157) and Myles Amine (174). He was named the 2018-19 Amateur Wrestling News Rookie Coach of the Year.

Since returning to his alma mater, Bormet has helped mentor 18 different Wolverine All-Americans, with Michigan earning 23 All-America citations — from 14 different wrestlers — over the last six seasons. He was in Kellen Russell’s corner when Russell captured his second NCAA title and fourth Big Ten title to finish a stellar collegiate career in 2012. The Wolverines have earned top-10 team finishes at each of the last four NCAA Championships, including a fourth-place finish in 2018 and a fifth-place showing in 2019.

A skilled recruiter, Bormet has contributed to six top-10 recruiting classes, including the nation’s consensus No. 1 class in 2013, and will bring another heralded class to Ann Arbor next fall.

Bormet is a three-time winner of the Terry McCann Award as the USA Wrestling Freestyle Coach of the Year (2006, ’08, ’10) and serves on USA Wrestling’s Executive Coaches Council. He was a member of the coaching staff for three U.S. World Championship Teams (2006, ’09, ’10) as well as the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Teams and 2010 World Cup Team. Among his most decorated post-collegiate wrestlers are 2008 Olympian Andy Hrovat (84 kg), 2009 World silver medalist and 2012 Olympian Jake Herbert (84kg) and 2006 World bronze medalist Donny Pritzlaff (74kg).

Bormet was also named the 2004 USA Wrestling Developmental Coach of the Year for his coaching achievements with age-group wrestlers and programs. He coached the Illinois Junior Freestyle Team to four dual national titles (2006, ’07, ’08, ’10) and two national freestyle titles (2007, ’10). He has coached numerous age-group national champions and All-Americans as a coach for the Illinois Junior and Cadet freestyle national teams.

As the owner and founder of the Overtime School of Wrestling in Naperville, Ill., Bormet molded the training center into the nation’s premiere wrestling club, producing numerous champions and All-Americans at all age levels since its opening in 2001. Alumni of the Overtime School of Wrestling include World medalists, Olympic and World team members, NCAA champions and All-Americans, USA Wrestling Junior and Cadet national champions and more than 150 Illinois and Indiana state champions.

Prior to founding the Overtime School of Wrestling, Bormet served as an assistant coach at Wisconsin (1995-99) and Michigan (1999-2000). He worked with two-time NCAA champion Donny Pritzlaff and three-time All-American Eric Jetton during his tenure at Wisconsin and All-Americans Otto Olson, Damion Logan and Andy Hrovat while at Michigan.

As a Wolverine student-athlete (1991-94), Bormet was a two-time NCAA All-American at 158 pounds, placing second as a senior (1994) and third as a junior (1993). He garnered the prestigious Gorriaran Award at the 1993 event, registering three falls in a combined 8:58. He captured back-to-back Big Ten 158-pound titles (1993, ’94) and won the prestigious Midlands at 158 pounds in 1993.

Bormet posted a 125-21 career record, including a 33-2 mark as a senior, to rank 13th among Michigan’s all-time winningest wrestlers. He accumulated 44 career falls, leading the team with 15 during his junior season and 14 as a senior, to list fourth on the program’s all-time pins list. A two-time team captain, Bormet was twice named the Wolverines’ Cliff Keen Award winner as the team’s most outstanding wrestler.

In addition to his collegiate success, Bormet also excelled in freestyle wrestling, placing second at 76kg at the 1999 U.S. Senior National and third at 74kg in 1996. He took third place at the 1996 Olympic Team Trials and 1999 World Team Trials. While at Michigan, Bormet competed in the 1991 Espoir World Championships after claiming the Espoir national championship at 74kg. He participated in several international tours, claiming gold medals in Italy (1993), Greece (1996), Montreal (1997) and Poland (1998, 2000).

A native of Frankfort, Ill., Bormet graduated from Michigan in 1994 with a degree in sport management. He and his wife, Teri, have a daughter, Zoe, and live in Ann Arbor.”

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