NC State’s Gwiazdowski Earns Third Consecutive ACC Wrestler of the Year Honor

Virginia Tech’s David McFadden Named ACC Freshman; Hokies’ Kevin Dresser Voted ACC Coach of the Year for Fourth Straight Time

GREENSBORO, N.C. ( — NC State senior Nick Gwiazdowski (Delanson, New York), Virginia Tech freshman David McFadden (West Milford, New Jersey) and Virginia Tech head coach Kevin Dresser claimed the 2016 ACC Wrestling Awards, announced Tuesday by Commissioner John Swofford.

Gwiazdowski was named the ACC Wrestler of the Year for the third consecutive year. McFadden earned ACC Freshman Wrestler of the Year honors, and Dresser was named the ACC’s Wrestling Coach of the Year for the fourth straight time.

All three awards were determined by a vote of the league’s six wrestling head coaches.

Gwiazdowski, who this year claimed his third ACC title at 285 pounds, finished as the NCAA runner-up after winning the national title in 2014 and 2015. He becomes only the second wrestler in ACC history to be named Wrestler of the Year three straight times, having also been voted the award after the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Only NC State’s Sylvester Terkay, another heavyweight, had previously won ACC Wrestler of the Year three times (1991-92-93).

Gwiazdowski also became the second ACC wrestler to reach the NCAA Championship finals for three consecutive years, joining only North Carolina’s T.J. Jaworsky, a three-time NCAA champion (1993-94-95).

Gwiazdowski, who had won an ACC-record 88 consecutive matches until dropping a sudden-victory, 7-5 overtime loss in this year’s NCAA Championship finals, completed his career with a 34-1 record this past year, posting a perfect 5-0 record in the ACC and winning his third straight ACC title. He is one of just two ACC wrestlers in history to have won back-to-back national titles. His last loss prior to the overtime loss in the NCAA finals to Kyle Snyder of Ohio State was on January 2, 2014.

A four-time NCAA All-American, who also finished eighth nationally while a freshman at Binghamton, Gwiazdowski was named the Most Valuable Wrestler at this year’s ACC Wrestling Championship in leading NC State to its first team title since 2006.

“Nick being honored as the ACC Wrestler of the Year is a great recognition and coming from one of the best conferences in the nation, it is truly an honor,” said NC State head coach Pat Popolizio. “For him to win this award three straight seasons is an impressive accomplishment and shows you how instrumental he has meant to our success.

“He has helped to brand NC State to what it is today and he has helped elevate the academic and competitive nature of our program and the entire ACC overall. We look forward to his future wrestling endeavors, and he will truly be missed.”

Virginia Tech’s McFadden earned All-American honors by finishing fifth nationally in the 165-pound weight class, helping the Hokies to a school and ACC-best fourth place finish at the NCAA Championship.

The No. 14 seed at the NCAA Championship in New York City’s Madison Square Garden, he posted a 6-2 mark in the Championship, losing only to the third seed, Bo Jordan of Ohio State, on two occasions.

McFadden scored upsets over the No. six, seven and ninth-seeded wrestlers to earn a fifth-place finish and garner All-America honors in his first season of collegiate competition.

Overall, McFadden posted a 27-11 individual record on the year and finished third at the ACC Championship in Charlottesville.

“David McFadden had a great year for an 18 year-old kid!” said Dresser. “His determination to get on the podium as a true freshman was most impressive. Obviously, David loves to compete!”

Dresser, who coached Tech to its fourth straight Top 10 and its highest-ever NCAA finish, joined former North Carolina head coach Bill Lam (1997-2000) as the only coaches in league history to be named ACC Wrestling Coach of the Year four straight times.

“This award is a great honor for our program, and especially my coaching staff,” said Dresser. “I consider this a coaching staff award more than individual award. I am very proud of what the ACC did this year as a conference, and I am excited to see the continued growth. The Hokies will enjoy this award.”

Dresser guided the Hokies to a 16-2 dual meet record during the regular season, including a 6-2 mark against nationally-ranked opponents. He led Tech to its second straight regular season ACC dual match title, defeating then third-ranked NC State in their dual meet in the process. Tech finished in first place in ACC dual meet competition for the third time in four seasons.

The Hokies finished the year ranked third nationally by the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) national poll, their highest ranking in school history.

Six of Dresser’s wrestlers earned All-American honors, a school and ACC record for a single NCAA Championship in McFadden; Solomon Chishko (Jeannette, Pennsylvania), who finished sixth at 141; senior Nick Brascetta (St. Paris, Ohio), who finished third at 157; Zach Epperly (Christiansburg, Virginia) who finished third at 174; Jared Haught (Parkersburg, West Virginia), who finished sixth at 197 and Ty Walz (Cleveland, Ohio), who finished fourth at 285.

Year   ACC Wrestler of the Year                    ACC Freshman of the Year         ACC Coach of the Year
1986                                                                                                                                 Bill Lam, North Carolina
1987                                                                                                                                 Bill Lam, North Carolina
1988                                                                                                                                 Bob Guzzo, NC State
1989                                                                                                                                 Bob Guzzo, NC State
1990                                                                                                                                 John McHugh, Maryland
1991   Sylvester Terkay, NC State                                                                                Bob Guzzo, NC State
1992   Sylvester Terkay, NC State                                                                                Bill Lam, North Carolina
1993   Sylvester Terkay, NC State                                                                                John McHugh, Maryland
1994   Sam Henson, Clemson                                                                                      Bill Lam, North Carolina
1995   T.J. Jaworsky, North Carolina                                                                            Bill Lam, North Carolina
1996   Justin Harty, North Carolina                                                                             Bob Guzzo, NC State
1997   Jim Guzzio, Maryland                                                                                         Bill Lam, North Carolina
1998   Chuckie Connor, North Carolina                                                                      Bill Lam, North Carolina
1999   Mat Roth, Virginia                                                                                               Bill Lam, North Carolina
2000   Steve Garland, Virginia                                                                                      Bill Lam, North Carolina
2001   John Mark Bentley, North Carolina                                                                 Bob Guzzo, NC State
2002   Chris Rodrigues, North Carolina                                                                      Bob Guzzo, NC State
2003   Evan Sola, North Carolina                                                                                 Bill Lam, North Carolina
2004   Scoot Moore, Virginia                                                                                        Clar Anderson, Duke
2005   Evan Sola, North Carolina                   Kody Hamrah, NC State                    C.D. Mock, North Carolina
2006   Mike Faust, Virginia Tech                    Eric Albright, Virginia                         C.D. Mock, North Carolina
2007   Darrion Caldwell, NC State                 Darrion Caldwell, NC State               Carter Jordan, NC State
2008   Hudson Taylor, Maryland                   Chris Henrich, Virginia                       Pat Santoro, Maryland
2009   Darrion Caldwell, NC State                 Jarrod Garnett, Virginia Tech            Kerry McCoy, Maryland
2010   Hudson Taylor, Maryland                   Brian Stephens, Virginia Tech           Steve Garland, Virginia
2011   Josh Asper, Maryland                          Spencer Myers, Maryland                 Kerry McCoy, Maryland
                                                                            Devin Carter, Virginia Tech
2012   Devin Carter, Virginia Tech                 Nick Brascetta, Virginia Tech            Kerry McCoy, Maryland
2013   Pete Yates, Virginia Tech                     Nathan Kraisser, N. Carolina            Kevin Dresser, Virginia Tech
2014   Nick Gwiazdowski, NC State               Joey Dance, Virginia Tech                  Kevin Dresser, Virginia Tech
2015   Nick Gwiazdowski, NC State               Kevin Jack, NC State                           Kevin Dresser, Virginia Tech
2016   Nick Gwiazdowski, NC State               David McFadden, Virginia Tech        Kevin Dresser, Virginia Tech