ODU Wrestling Coach Steve Martin Named CAA Coach of the Year
By ODU Athletics
April 8, 2008
RICHMOND, Va. - Old Dominion University wrestling coach Steve Martin has been selected the Colonial Athletic Association Coach of the Year and red shirt freshman James Nicholson has been honored as the CAA Rookie of the year today as the CAA announced its 2007-08 wrestling awards.
Martin was named CAA Coach of the Year for the first time in his four years at ODU, after guiding the Monarchs to the highest national ranking in school history. Nicholson (Des Moines, Iowa) became Old Dominion's first All-American since 1995, winning his first CAA championship and finishing 8th at the NCAA Tournament.
Martin coached Old Dominion to a 17-3 overall record, including a 6-1 mark in CAA action. It was the second most wins in school history and the second best record in the modern era. The only losses in the season came to nationally ranked opponents: #3 Iowa, #17 Illinois and #12 Hofstra. ODU closed the gap at the CAA Championship, taking second place for the third straight year and qualifying a school record six individuals to the national tournament. The team was ranked in the national polls for the first time since 1990-91 and reached its highest national ranking in school history at 18th in the country.
Nicholson finished with 35 wins in his rookie campaign coupled with just 10 losses. He finished the regular season winning 23 of his last 25 bouts and entered the NCAA Tournament on a 12-match winning streak, improving to a career-high 14 en route to his All-American finish. The Monarch grappler had eight major decisions, five technical falls and two pins on the season and was 6-1 in CAA action.
Nicholson led the league in rookie major decisions with eight and in rookie technical falls with five. He also finished tied for second in rookie wins and fifth in the CAA overall with 35. In the final NCAA Rankings of the year, Nicholson was ranked 10th in the nation by InterMat.
Old Dominion concluded the 2007-08 season ranked 2nd in the Colonial Athletic Association after the team's third straight runner-up performance at the tournament. With just one senior graduating in 2008, the Monarchs will return nine of ten starters to the lineup in 2008-09.