Saturday, May 23, 2020

Gone, Lost & Forgotten: Their Best = Tennessee

The Volunteers had wrestling at two points during their existence.  They dropped the wrestling program during the start of World War II & would reinstate with the SEC sponsoring wrestling during the 1969-1970 season.  Wrestling would last through the 1985-1986 season, shortly after crowing their first individual NCAA Champion & having their highest team finish of eighth in 1985.   They were also winners of the Southeastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (SEIWA) in both 1977 & 1978 & finished third twice in the SEC's twelve season existence. 

Mark DeAugustino
142 lbs
DeAugustino was a two time NCAA qualifier for the Volunteers in 1980 & 1982. Post graduation he moved to Florida where he coached at Zephyrilhills Christian Academy, Land O Lakes & Pasco High Schools having an assortment of State qualifiers, place-winners, finalists and champions. 

Ethan Reeve
150, 158 lbs
One of the Volunteers best was four time SEC champion & two time All American Ethan Reeve.  During his time as a Volunteer, Reeve took fifth at the 1976 NCAA championships & then topped off his career with a third place finish in 1977.   He later became the head coach at Chattanooga taking the Mocs to a 85-9 dual record winning five Southern Conference titles.  Since he has been a strength & conditioning coach at Ohio State, Wake Forest & Chattanooga.
Buddy Walker
150 lbs
Walker was a three time NCAA qualifier for the Volunteers capturing a sixth place finish at the 1977 NCAA championships.  He later coached football, wrestling, golf, soccer & baseball along with teaching Driver's ed at Etowah high school.

Steve Stalnaker
118 lbs 
Steve Stalnaker was a four time NCAA qualifier for the Volunteers in 1975, 76', 77' & 78'.

Mike Giustizia
126 lbs 
Giustizia, a State champion for Walt Whitman High school in New York was an All American for the Volunteers in 1980 capturing a sixth place finish.  Post college Giustizia was also an Olympian in 1980. Unfortunately his life would take a downward spiral for a while but after some time he would bounce back & he's doing quite well today.

Ben Hill
Another New Yorker on the Volunteer team was Ben Hill out of Hampton Bay, winner of two Section XI championships. Ironically enough he would also place sixth at the 1980 NCAA championships.

Tony Mills
142, 150 lbs 
From Central High School in Macon, Georgia, Mills qualified for the NCAA championships in 1981, 82' & 83'.
Chris Edmond
158, 167 lbs 
During his sophomore year at Freeport High School in New York, Chris Edmond found himself dared by one of the high school wrestlers that he wasn't tough enough to endure a full wrestling practice.  He took the dare, he won.  Before long not only was he doing well at practice, he was one of the best on the team.  Finishing third in the state of New York as a senior, he went to Tennessee to wrestle for the Volunteers.

In 1984 as a junior he captured an eighth place finish at the NCAA championships, saving his best season for last.  As a senior in 1985, Edmond became the Volunteers first (and only) NCAA champion.

Tim Cochran
134 lbs  
Another four time NCAA qualifier for the Volunteers was Tim Cochran out of Camp Hill, Pennsylvania.  Cochran placed seventh at the 1985 NCAA championships & in Tennessee's last season on the mat of 1986 he placed fifth.

Wayne Catan
167, 177 lbs 
Catan began his collegiate career for the Volunteers qualifying for the NCAA championships in his first two seasons, taking seventh at the NCAA championships as a sophomore in 1983.  He would then transfer to Syracuse where he took a redshirt in 1984.  Coming back in 1985 he would win his first of what would be two EIWA (Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association) titles making the NCAA finals.  He'd come back in 1986 to take seventh place. 

Post college Catan has worked in Public Relations serving various entities such as Turner Broadcasting, Nike, MSNBC & various celebrities.

Tim Cooper
177 lbs  
Cooper qualified for the NCAA championships in 1982, 83' & 85'.

Glen Lanham
150, 158 lbs 
Lanham made an immediate impact on the Volunteer wrestling team qualifying for the NCAA championships as a freshman and capturing an eighth place finish as a sophomore in 1985.  Unfortunately Tennessee would drop wrestling at the 1985-1986 season & Lanham was forced to find a new home.   He then competed at Oklahoma State where he captured a fifth place finish for the Cowboys in 1987.

Post graduation Lanham coached at various places before landing the head coaching position at Duke in 2012.  On a budget that would be considerate to refer to as shoe-string, Lanham has done a tremendous job over the past seven seasons.  This includes two top twenty-five finishes at the NCAA championships, the highest in school history.  It also includes various ACC champions & place winners, NCAA qualifiers & All Americans. 

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