Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Defending The Title: 1994: Those Who Did and Those Who Did Not Defend The Title

 1994 was quite a historical year for collegiate wrestling.  Oklahoma State had been ineligible for the 1993 NCAA championships due to violations and they returned in 1994 with a vengeance winning the NCAA team title.  

Within winning that team title, Pat Smith made history by coming the first four time NCAA Division I champion. 

Sammie Henson of Clemson ended his collegiate career with title #2 as T.J. Jaworsky of North Carolina and Lincoln McIlravy of Iowa both won title #2 of 3. 

1994 Champion 126
David Hirsch of Cornell 

A state champion from Clarkstown South high school, Hirsch was a three time EIWA champion for the Big Red, placing 5th in 1993 as a junior.  He would end his collegiate career with an NCAA title as a senior in 1994, going 41-3 on the season. 

1994 Champion 142
Alan Fried of Oklahoma State 

In the never ending war between Ohio and Pennsylvania on who IS the "wrestling state" here is some ammunition for Ohio.  Alan Fried was from Ohio, but during junior high he went over to Pennsylvania and won two of their junior high state titles.  Competing for St. Edward High School, Fried won three Ohio state titles.  Once he entered college he made an immediate impact, winning the BIG 12 title and taking NCAA runner-up honors as a freshman in 1991.  He'd repeat as BIG 12 champ & NCAA runner-up in 1992 as a sophomore.  He most likely missed out on what would have been another BIG 12 title & NCAA finals appearance in 1993 due to Oklahoma State not being eligible for the post season. What he did do in 1993 however, was win Pan-American Gold.  He'd return in 1994 for his senior season to win his third BIG 12 title and his first NCAA title.  Overall he went 129-6 during his Cowboy career. 

Coaching at various high schools in Ohio, Fried eventually opened up and ran his own wrestling Academy.  He also works as a Futures Trader. 

1994 Champion 167
Mark Branch of Oklahoma State 

If it wasn't for the selfish, underhanded, dishonest decisions of Dick Rosenthal at the University of Notre Dame, the wrestling world might have seen Mark Branch competing in blue and gold, rather than Orange and black.  Entering the NCAA tournament as a freshman with an 8-9 record, he did not seem likely to walk out the NCAA Champion.  Nevertheless upset after upset, Branch took the title in his rookie season as a Cowboy  The next two seasons of 1995 and 1996, Branch would settle for NCAA runner-up honors, reclaiming his throne in 1997.  Since that time Branch has been involved at coaching at the collegiate level, where he is currently the head coach of Wyoming. 

1994 Champion 177 
Dean Morrison of West Virginia 

Coming to West Virginia from New York where he wrestled for Amityville North High School, Morrison won three EWL titles for the Mountaineers. Earning 103 victories over his career, Morrison didn't seem a likely candidate for an NCAA title considering in two other appearances he went 2-2 & 1-2 against the competition. Nevertheless putting together an outstanding senior season, Morrison ended his career as the NCAA champion.  He later earned Pan-American Gold in 2003. 

1994 Champion 190 
Joel Sharratt of Iowa 

A two time Minnesota state champion for Bloomington-Kennedy, Sharratt's NCAA title came in his junior season of 1994.  He was the NCAA runner-up in 1993 as a sophomore and in 1995 as a senior. Post college he won Pan-American Bronze in 1997, before turning to coaching.  He coached at Lehigh, Minnesota, Air Force and Navy. 

1994 Champion HWT 
Kerry McCoy of Penn State 

Coming to Penn State from New York where he competed for Longwood High School, McCoy put together an impressive 150-18 career record.  After Not placing at the NCAA championships as a true freshman in 1993, he won the NCAA title as a true sophomore in 1994.  He'd take 3rd place All American honors as a true junior in 1995, taking a redshirt in 1996.  He returned in 1997, to win his second NCAA title.  Wrestling internationally, McCoy won Pan-American Gold and World Silver in 2003.  He's since turned to coaching where he has coached at Penn State, Lehigh, Stanford and Maryland as well as at the international level. 


Henson, Jaworsky, McIlravy, P Smith already mentioned

Branch would not repeat in 95 or 96, but would repeat in 97

McCoy would not repeat in 95, but came back after a redshirt in 96 to repeat in 97 

Sharratt did not repeat

Hirsch, Fried and Morrison all seniors 


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