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Virginia Tech’s David McFadden Named ACC Freshman; Hokies’ Kevin Dresser Voted ACC Coach of the Year for Fourth Straight Time
GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) — 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