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The_Historian

Why have so few schools won a wrestling D-I team title?

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Division I wrestling is unique in NCAA competition in terms of how few schools have won the team title - just 10 officially. I noticed ice hockey, which started in 1948 and is a regional sport, just crowned its 20 different school as champion.

 

Wrestling is the second oldest sport in terms of team titles, yet much newer sports like soccer, lacrosse, etc. have had more different schools as champs. Moreover, I believe that Oklahoma State and Iowa are one and two in the list of schools with the most team titles for a single sport.

 

Swimming and Diving, which started a few years after wrestling, has had nearly double the number of schools win a team title. Like wrestling it has both individual and team championships. An interesting fact is that far few schools have won individual titles in swimming than in wrestling - a strange contrast to that for the team title.

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Wrestling is a technique and personality sport. One individual can make a major impact.

 

Ed Gallagher gave OSU a huge lead technically by applying engineering principles to the human skeleton. He got his wrestlers coaching positions at Perry, Ponca City, Blackwell, and Cushing to develop a feeder program for OSU.

 

Art Griffith first developed "counter wrestling" as a style. He figured he couldn't beat Gallagher's disciples using the same style. So Tulsa Central because of the huge talent base became the best high school wrestling team perhaps ever in the U.S. When Griffith took over OSU he completely changed it's style of wrestling.

 

Port Robertson who was coached by Paul Keen, who was a Gallagher disciple believed in pinning. John Devine the Perry coach had wrestled for Gallagher had a falling out with Griffith when he was told his wrestlers would need to change their style to wrestle at OSU. Port and Devine formed a close relationship which created the great pipeline from Perry to OU, making OU a powerhouse.

 

Harold Nichols got in the ground floor of hosting large wrestling camps in the summer. He hired many OSU and OU former wrestlers as clinicians. This began the wholesale export of the then advanced techniques from Oklahoma to Iowa. Nichols stockpiled the best high school wreskers in the upper midwest. Thus, the first dominant outside of Oklahoma was created.

 

Gary Kurdleneier and Dan Gable transformed college wrestling by doing the following.

1. Having post collegiate wrestlers at every weight class as workout partners.

2. Gable implemented strength training in wrestling which had never been done before on a wholesale basis.

 

Although wrestling is a team sport, the score is derived from each individual scores. So a team with 4-5 outstanding wrestlers can win the NCAA title. iowa under Gable was the exception, it usually had 8-10 outstanding wrestlers.

 

Kids idolize the outstanding athletes at the next level in their sport. Wrestling is the only one where the great college wrestlers windup as head coaches at a major program. These major programs have the recruiting network at the in-state high schools, extra funding by alumni, large crowds. All these things make it hard to break into the upper echelon.

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Jay, could you expand on this statement:

 

"An interesting fact is that far few schools have won individual titles in swimming than in wrestling - a strange contrast to that for the team title."

 

Thank you.

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You continually get all the good cards, you are going to win all of the card games.

 

Nationals is generally boring. Even when OSU put together a near perfect day 3 this year, it still couldn't close the gap.

 

The only exciting team race in wrestling is recruiting.

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Jay, could you expand on this statement:

 

"An interesting fact is that far few schools have won individual titles in swimming than in wrestling - a strange contrast to that for the team title."

 

Thank you.

 

Will defer to Jay to explain, but.....

 

Wrestling = DI team titles = few schools (teams)

Wrestling = DI individual titles = broad spectrum of schools

http://www.ncaa.org/wps/wcm/connect/pub ... hamps.html

 

Swimming = DI team titles = variety of schools (teams)

Swimming = DI individual/relay titles = limited spectrum of schools represented

http://www.ncaa.org/wps/wcm/connect/pub ... hamps.html

 

Being a former wrestler and swimmer, I can appreciate what goes into both sports. I follow wrestling....but not so much on swimming. I think I get what Jay was saying though.

 

Interesting. Thanks, Jay.

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A top swimmer can win multiple events at Nationals. It's a team depth that wins the team title.

 

I remember the great swimmers at Indiana years ago. Also, wasn't there a collegiate swim team from the state of Michigan that won like 50 consecutive conference titles ? One of the great streaks in sports :)

 

 

cya

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Btw, Stanford has won 31 straight Pac-12 championships in swimming, which was broken by Cal this year. The Kenyon men's swim team had won 31 straight D3 team championships, which was ended a few years ago by 1 point. I can't find their conference streak info though...

 

Indian River state college just won it's 39th straight national championship in Junior college. The women have won 31 straight.

 

 

cya

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I remember posting a similar topic about the relative few number of different schools to win a wrestling national title.

 

But I’m posting to say don’t knock basketball (or any other college sport) for having a structure that gives us many different national champions over a span of many years (and teams like Butler or Wichita State or VCU that can legitimately compete for a national title). If this were true for wrestling, then by definition the fan base would be much greater and the overall popularity would be much higher, I do believe.

 

J

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I remember posting a similar topic about the relative few number of different schools to win a wrestling national title.

 

But I’m posting to say don’t knock basketball (or any other college sport) for having a structure that gives us many different national champions over a span of many years (and teams like Butler or Wichita State or VCU that can legitimately compete for a national title). If this were true for wrestling, then by definition the fan base would be much greater and the overall popularity would be much higher, I do believe.

 

J

My comment wasn't a knock on basketball. If it came out that way, I apologize. That is just what I think the answer is, not saying it's good or bad.

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Coaching.

 

And to add to the question, Why so many Championships from the Mid West? Another unique aspect of our history.

Long, cold, snowy winters with no mountains, and no coast to provide alternative distractions?

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Since wrestling is first and foremost an individual competition I am curious if you took individuals national champions how many different schools would be represented in comparison to other individual sports like track & field, or swimming.

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I am going to post on this because it was one of the last posts Jay started and it is appropriate time of year for additional discussion.

 

Make it 11 with Ohio State earning their first title in 2015.

 

I always enjoyed seeing Jay at a variety of events through the years, esp the NCAA Tournament, and felt I always learned something in every conversation.

 

It will be five years in November since The Historian left us and he will not be forgotten.

 

RIP (wRestle In Peace) Jarius Hammond.  

Edited by KSchlosser

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Once a school gets on a roll, every top ranked kid wants to go there, so that school tends to keep winning.  Oklahoma state did this for decades in the mid 1900's.  Iowa took this role from the late 70's for the next few decades. Now it is Penn State.  The trick is getting it going for a few years.  Takes a great coach to pull this off and hold it. Each of these schools had/have great coaches. 

 

The only question a top ranked kid has right now is "can I break the lineup at Penn State".  Where is the best school to go to win an NCAA title is not in doubt right now.  

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Wrestling is a technique and personality sport. One individual can make a major impact.

 

Ed Gallagher gave OSU a huge lead technically by applying engineering principles to the human skeleton. He got his wrestlers coaching positions at Perry, Ponca City, Blackwell, and Cushing to develop a feeder program for OSU.

 

Art Griffith first developed "counter wrestling" as a style. He figured he couldn't beat Gallagher's disciples using the same style. So Tulsa Central because of the huge talent base became the best high school wrestling team perhaps ever in the U.S. When Griffith took over OSU he completely changed it's style of wrestling.

 

Port Robertson who was coached by Paul Keen, who was a Gallagher disciple believed in pinning. John Devine the Perry coach had wrestled for Gallagher had a falling out with Griffith when he was told his wrestlers would need to change their style to wrestle at OSU. Port and Devine formed a close relationship which created the great pipeline from Perry to OU, making OU a powerhouse.

 

Harold Nichols got in the ground floor of hosting large wrestling camps in the summer. He hired many OSU and OU former wrestlers as clinicians. This began the wholesale export of the then advanced techniques from Oklahoma to Iowa. Nichols stockpiled the best high school wreskers in the upper midwest. Thus, the first dominant outside of Oklahoma was created.

 

Gary Kurdleneier and Dan Gable transformed college wrestling by doing the following.

1. Having post collegiate wrestlers at every weight class as workout partners.

2. Gable implemented strength training in wrestling which had never been done before on a wholesale basis.

 

Although wrestling is a team sport, the score is derived from each individual scores. So a team with 4-5 outstanding wrestlers can win the NCAA title. iowa under Gable was the exception, it usually had 8-10 outstanding wrestlers.

 

Kids idolize the outstanding athletes at the next level in their sport. Wrestling is the only one where the great college wrestlers windup as head coaches at a major program. These major programs have the recruiting network at the in-state high schools, extra funding by alumni, large crowds. All these things make it hard to break into the upper echelon.

As a history teacher I appreciated this information. Isn't there a history of college wrestling that was written by the poster who died of cancer a few years ago?

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As a history teacher I appreciated this information. Isn't there a history of college wrestling that was written by the poster who died of cancer a few years ago?

 

I think you may mean The History of College Wrestling written by... J. Hammond.  I must admit I was a little confused when I opened this thread until I got further down, and realized - the original post was dated April 14, 2013.

 

RIP, Jay Hammond.

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Wrestling has an illness. The team competition was poorly designed from the very beginning. There is no real competition outside of individual matchups.

 

I never cared about my team's results in wrestling. Only MY results. Of course I rooted for my teammates, no matter how bad most of them were, but the team was so bad that I'd have developed some sort of inferiority complex if I'd been concerned about team scores. Plus, it's just the 1 wrestler out there against 1 other wrestler. It's NOT teams competing, in the strictest sense, like in football, bball, etc.

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