Penn State Nittany Lions Wrestling

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Penn State Nittany Lions
Penn State Nittany Lions athletic logo

University Pennsylvania State University
Conference Big Ten
NCAA Division I Division
Location University Park, PA
Head Coach Cael Sanderson (5th year)
Arena Lorenzo Wrestling Complex at Rec Hall
(Capacity: 7,000)
Nickname Nittany Lions
Colors Navy blue and White


Total National Championships
6 (1921, 1953, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
NCAA Tournament Champions
NCAA Individual Champions

The Penn State Nittany Lions wrestling team is a NCAA Division I Wrestling team. Coached by former Olympian Cael Sanderson, the Nittany Lions have maintained status as a top wrestling program. Penn State holds a four-time NCAA team championship winning streak from 2011-2014, and has won five overall NCAA National Championships. There are many very talented wrestlers who currently attend Penn State including Nico Megaludis, Zain Retherford, Morgan McIntosh & Matt Brown. Ed Ruth and David Tayor concluded their collegiate careers in March of 2014. Ruth finished third as a freshman and then was a three time National Champion. Taylor was a two-time National Champion and finished as runner-up twice.


Penn State Wrestling program was established in 1909, declared national dual meet champion in 1921.[1] In 1925 Penn State won all seven team duels in which they competed, finishing the dual meet season as undefeated.[2] Charlie Spiedel coached the team from 1927-1964, taking a four-year break during WW2 to serve his country. He is credited with laying the groundwork for the Nittany Lion wrestling standard of excellence, and he guided the team to the 1953 national title.[3]

National championships[edit]

Team championships[edit]

Penn State has won six national championships as a team (1921, 1953, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014).[4][5]

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 13-1
2013 Cael Sanderson 123.5 13-1
2014 Cael Sanderson 109.5 15-1

Individual championships[edit]

Many wrestlers have won national titles as individuals, and they are listed in chronological order in the following table.

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 HWT
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

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

Wrestler Number of NCAA Championships Number of NCAA Runner-ups Outstanding Wrestler
Kerry McCoy 2 Hodge Award 1997
Quentin Wright 2 1
Ed Ruth 3
Jeff Prescott 2
Andy Matter 2
David Taylor 2 2 Hodge Award 2012 & 2014
Frank Molinaro 1 1
Phil Davis 1 1
Jeremy Hunter 1 1
Sanshire Abe 1 1
John Hughes 1 1
Jim Martin 1 1
Glen Pritzlaff 1
Scott Lynch 1
Carl Destefanis 1
John Fritz 1
Jon Johnston 1
Bill Oberly 1
Larry Fornicola 1
Hud Samson 1
Joe Lemyre 1
Howard Johnston 1
Matt Brown 1
Nico Megaludis 2
Troy Sunderland 2
Josh Moore 1
Clint Musser 1
Pat Cummins 1
Aaron Anspach 1
Bubba Jenkins 1
Dan Vallimont 1
Greg Haladay 1
Cary Kolat 1
Dan Mayo 1
Greg Elinsky 1

Olympics and post-graduate careers[edit]

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).

Year Wrestler Competition Notable Achievements
1924 Katsutoshi Naito Olympics Bronze Medal
1988 Ken Chertow Olympics
1996 Sanshiro Abe Olympics
2000, 2004 Patrick Cummins (fighter) UFC two-time NCAA Division I All-American wrestler and 2004 runner-up
2000, 2004 Kerry McCoy Olympics
2009–present Phil Davis Bellator 12-2 record UFC Light Heavyweight.
2011–present Bubba Jenkins Bellator 6-1 record


Current coaching staff[edit]

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

Head coach history[edit]

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


2014-15 Roster [7]

Name Wt. Class Class Hometown/High School
Andrew Alton 149 SR Mill Hall, Pa./Central Mountain
Dylan Alton 157 SR Mill Hall, Pa./Central Mountain
Zack Beitz 141 SO Mifflintown, Pa./Juniata
Brian Brill 165 SO State College, Pa./Central Mountain
Matt Brown 174 SR West Valley City, Utah/Cyprus
George Carpenter 125 FR Chapel Hill, N.C./Carrboro
Anthony Cassar 197 FR Rocky Hill, N.J./Montgomery
Jordan Conaway 125/133 JR Abbottstown, Pa./New Oxford
Dylan Dailey 174/184 JR Danville, Pa./Danville
James Frascella 174 JR Carmel, Ind./Carmel
Luke Frey 149 JR Montoursville, Pa./Montoursville
Jon Gingrich 285 SR Wingate, Pa./Bald Eagle Area
Jimmy Gulibon 133 SO Latrobe, Pa./Derry Area
Garett Hammond 157/165 RS FR Chambersburg, Pa./Chambersburg
Cody Law 157/165 RS FR Windber, Pa./Forest Hills
Jimmy Lawson 285 SR Toms River, N.J./Manchester Township
Caleb Livingston 165/174 SO Drexel Hill, Pa./Upper Darby
Rex Lutz 165 JR Easton, Pa./Penn Argyl
Matt McCutcheon 184/197 RS FR Apollo, Pa./Kiski Area
Morgan McIntosh 197 JR Santa Ana, Calif./Calvary Chapel
Nico Megaludis 125 SR Murrysville, Pa./Franklin Regional
Kade Moss 141/149 RS FR South Jordan, Utah/Bingham
Nick Nevills HWT FR Clovis, Calif./Clovis
Bo Nickal 174/184 FR Allen, Texas/Allen
Jason Nolf 149/157 FR Yatesboro, Pa./Kittanning
Jordan Pagano 174 FR Oradell, N.J./Bergen Catholic
Wes Phipps 174/184 SO Grove City, Pa./Grove City
Shakur Rasheed 165 FR Coram, N.Y./Longwood
Zain Retherford 141 SO Benton, Pa./Benton
Josh Rogers 197 JR Pottstown, Pa./St. Pius X/Valley Forge MA
Nick Ruggear 285 SR Oxford, Pa./Oxford
Devon Van Cura 174/184 FR Washington, N.C./Washington
Michael Waters 133/141 JR Advance, N.C./Davie
Nicholas Weldon 184 FR Birmingham, Ala./Clay-Chalkville
Kenneth Yanovich 125 FR Effort, Pa./Pleasant Valley


Penn State has high quality wrestling facilities. A wrestling room is equipped with equipment and gear. Nittany Lion wrestlers may take advantage of spacious strength training facilities, a practice room, athletic medical facilities and academic support centers housed in the venerable fieldhouse to maximize their talents. The Lorenzo Wrestling Complex - widely considered among the best in the nation - gives Penn State athletes a world-class facility for training. Recently renovated and expanded, the facility encompasses over 24,000 square feet, including the practice room, weight room, locker room and support space. The recent renovation more than doubled the size of the former wrestling room. When hosting home dual meets, mats are set in the gym. Penn State has committed over $145 million to Nittany Lions athletic facilities, creating the best facilities in the nation.[8]


  1. ^ Palmer, Mark (2008). "Intermat Rewind: 1953 Penn State", "Intermat",
  2. ^
  3. ^ Palmer, Mark (2008). "Intermat Rewind: 1953 Penn State", "Intermat",
  4. ^ "National Championships". Penn State University. Retrieved February 19, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Penn State Wrestling History and Records". Penn State Wrestling Club. Retrieved March 1, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Coaches". Penn State University. Retrieved February 19, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Official Wrestling Roster". Penn State University. Retrieved March 1, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Lorenzo Wrestling Complex". Penn State University. Retrieved February 19, 2014. 

External links[edit]