Sunday, May 17, 2020

Gone, Lost & Forgotten: Their Best = Boston U

The Boston U Terrier wrestling program started in the 1948-1949 season and lasted through the 2013-2014 season.  Athletic Director Michael Lynch stated at the time of wrestling's elimination that the program was being dropped in partial for two reasons. A - Boston U was moving to the Patriot League that did not officially sponsor wrestling.  B - Boston U's inability to be competitive within their conference.  Absolute balderdash can be called out on Lynch for both statements.  For one Navy, American, Army, Lehigh & Bucknell all manage to field wrestling programs while remaining a member of the Patriot League.  There's absolutely no reason why Boston U couldn't have done the same thing.  As to "an inability to be competitive within their conference" this is easily disputed as well.  While in the CAA (Colonial Athletic Association) Boston U routinely finished in the top four out of what was at one time as high as twelve teams.  Of course the conference dwindled down over the years because of the cuts of other programs at other schools, but I would call third place out of twelve teams competitive.   In their final season Boston U competed in the EIWA & out of 18 teams they finished in tenth place.   Not bad for their first year (and only) in a very competitive conference.

It should also be noted that Mr. Lynch himself had a lot to do with why Boston U had "an inability to be competitive within their conference."   As to improving facilities, allowing head Coach Carl Adams to add to his coaching staff, or to increase scholarship money for the program, all were giving the big N-O. 

Coach Adams accumulated 306 dual meet wins during his time at Boston U (1980-1981 through 2013-2014) & won 10 conference titles. (1982, 1983, 1984, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 NEIWA (New England Intercollegiate Wrestling Association) titles that I am aware of.)

Also in my records I have Boston U as the 1975 NEIWA team champions.   They also won the Yankee Conference team title in 1975 as well as 1977.  They may have also won an ECWA (Eastern Collegiate Wrestling Association) title as well.

Sev Popolizio
126, 134 lbs
A native of Schnectady, New York, Popolizio had an outstanding career for the Terriers.  Winning three Yankee Conference titles & two NEIWA titles in his sophomore & senior seasons of 1975 & 1977.  Popolizio was a three time NCAA qualifier.  Post College he became an Angus farmer.

Tom Kryzak
142, 150 lbs 
From Guilderland high school in New York, Tom Kryzak didn't start wrestling until his sophomore year of high school.  Nevertheless with little experience compared to some of his competition he was still able to make the NEIWA finals all four years as a Terrier, qualifying for the NCAA's in 1973 & 1975.  A 1980 Olympian, Kryzak later became an Orthopedic surgeon.

Mark Jones
177 lbs 
From Scotia-Glenville high in New York, Jones was also a member of the Terrier football program.  While wrestling, he won two NEIWA titles in 1974 & 1975, also qualifying for the NCAA championships in those years as well. 

Post college Jones got into the plumbing and heating business & served as an official for 28 years.  He then got an itch to coach and began coaching wrestling & teaching science at the Middle School level.

Jeff Lambert
118 lbs 
A native of Massachusetts, Lambert finished as the runner up as a junior before winning a state title his senior season for Lowell High School.   While at Boston U, Lambert won two NEIWA titles his sophomore & senior seasons in 1975 & 1977.  He was third as a freshman and second as a junior.

Cliff Whalen
Another graduate of Lowell High School, Whalen won a Massachusetts state title his senior season, ending his career with a 63-2 record.  He then spent a season at Taber Academy prep before entering Boston U.   While at Boston U he placed at the NEIWA tournament all four seasons, coming in as the runner-up his freshman and senior seasons, taking third as a sophomore & winning a title as a junior (which also qualified him for the NCAA championships.)  He also won two Yankee conference titles his junior and senior seasons as well. 

Post college, Whalen served as an assistant coach at Boston U.

Kevin Egleston
150, 167, 158 lbs 
Egleston was a three time NCAA qualifier for the Terriers in 1980, 81' & 82'.

Darrow Traylor
134, 126 lbs 
Another three time NCAA qualifier for the Terriers was Darrow Traylor who made trips to the championships in 1981, 82' & 83'.

Tod Giles
177, 190 lbs 
A graduate of East Rampo high school in New York, Giles began his career at the University of Rhode Island where he won the 1981 NEIWA title as a freshman.  When the Rams dropped their team, Giles found a new home at Boston U.  Competing for the Terriers, Giles won three more NEIWA titles accumulating a 86-5 record.  He made history in his senior season of 1984, putting together a 39-2 record, and becoming Boston U's first All American with an eighth place finish.

Post College he was an alternate for both the 1988 & 1996 Greco-Roman Olympic teams, as well as helping out as an assistant at Boston U.  He later became the head coach at Army.

Dave Williams
167, 158 lbs 
Williams was a three time NCAA qualifier in 1987, 88' & 89'.

Earl Walker
158 lbs 
Coach Carl Adams referred to Walker as the classiest kid he ever coached, calling him a true gentleman, that type that any Dad would be happy to call a son-in-law.   While competing for the Terriers, Walker won four NEIWA titles putting together a 86-12 record, qualifying for the NCAA championships all four years as well. His best season was his junior season, where he placed third at both the Midlands & the NCAA championships.  In the same season he was featured in an issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.
Chris Studer
158, 167 lbs 
In all of the many wrestlers Coach Carl Adams had during his long & illustrious career, he thought of Chris Studer as the hardest worker he ever had.  A four time NEIWA champion, Studer captured All American honors in 1993 as a junior with an eighth place finish.  Although he fell short of earning All American again as a senior in 1994, he did capture a seventh place finish at the Midlands tournament.  He ended his career with a record of 113-22.

Hunter Meys
174 lbs 
Meys was a two time NCAA qualifier for the Terriers in 2009 & 2011.

Jose Leon
125 lbs 

Coming all the way from California, Leon earned four NCAA qualifications for the Terriers during his time at Boston U.  Of note, Leon gave three time NCAA champion Stephen Abas his closest match of his senior year, holding him to an escape & a riding time point in a 2-0 loss.   In his senior season, he torn his ACL & was advised by doctors to end his career early. He refused & qualified for his fourth trip to the NCAA tournament.

Mike Roberts
149 lbs 
A graduate of Colonie high school in New York where he placed third & first in his last two seasons going 93-1, Roberts had a solid career while at Boston U. A two time CAA finalist, Roberts most noted performance came at the Southern Scuffle his junior season.   There he pinned Darrion Caldwell of North Carolina State & edged Dustin Schlatter of Minnesota 3-2 to secure a title. He ended his career at Boston U with 108 career wins.

Fred Santaite
125, 133 lbs 
Santaite was a two time NCAA qualifier his sophomore & junior seasons of 2010 & 2011.  Frankly at least in my opinion, he should've been one based on wildcard selection in 2012 as well.   Regardless the most interesting fact of Santaite may be that in the 90 year history of the NCAA tournament he was the first (and only one of two) to do this at the NCAA tournament:

His sophomore year he opened up with a victory over Ohio State's Nikko Triggas & then had the upset of the tournament when he knocked off Troy Nickerson of Cornell.  Triggas came back to place eighth, while Nickerson placed fourth. It was until Appalachian State's Dominic Parasi did so years later, the only time in the history of the NCAA tournament where a wrestler first & second round wins came back to make All American status while he himself did not.

Nestor Taffur
157 lbs 
Taffur has the distinguished honor of being both the Terrier's last CAA champion & their first (as well as only) EIWA champion, winning those titles in 2013 & 2014 respectively.  He put together 119 career victories, including a 37-4 record as a senior. 

Post college, Taffur competed for Columbia (the country) earning a silver medal at the 2017 Pan-American championships.  Ironically enough he later joined the coaching staff at Columbia (the University in New York).


  1. Earl Walker who wrestled for Boston University became the first Terrier in school history to place in the 1994 NCAA Wrestling Championships at the University of North Carolina. Earl Walker was also a 4 time Delaware State Champion.

    1. Very interested to know that. I know some great wrestlers have came out of Delaware, but I was unaware that Walker was from Delaware.