Three Monarchs Named to NWCA All-Academic Team
By ODU Athletics
May 8, 2008
NORFOLK, Va. -- The National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) announced its annual National All-Academic team and the 2008 team includes three Monarchs for the first time in school history. Old Dominion is just one of 11 programs in the nation with three or more grapplers named to the All-Academic Team as redshirt freshman James Nicholson (Des Moines, Iowa), sophomore Kyle Hutter (Mokena, Ill.) and junior Ryan Williams (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) earned the honor.
"Having kids perform in the classroom as well as on the mat has always been a top priority of the coaching staff here at ODU," said head coach Steve Martin. "We are extremely pleased to see our athletes continue to get it done both in the classroom and on the mat."
To qualify for the team wrestlers must have at least a 3.2 cumulative GPA, been an NCAA qualifier or won 60 percent of his total schedule - and must have competed in at least 60 percent of said schedule. The other way to qualify for the All-Academic team is have a 3.0 cumulative and been an NCAA All-American.
Williams became the first ever repeat honoree, as he was the Monarchs first ever on the All-Academic team a year ago. He capped his season with his second career NCAA appearance and finished just one win shy of a 40-victory season. The junior went 39-13 and notched a team-high 11 major decisions and won the CAA Championship at 141 lbs. He had a 3.26 GPA in Marketing in 2007-08.
Nicholson, the 125-pound starter for ODU became the school's first All-American since 1995 with an 8th place effort in St. Louis. He was one of just five Division I freshman to earn All-American status in 2008 and he finished the season with a 35-10 record and was the 10 seed in St. Louis, all while carrying a 3.68 GPA studying Accounting & Finance.
Hutter, the 133-pound starter for the Monarchs, qualified for his first ever appearance at the NCAA Tournament with a 33-14 season record. He was tied for second on the team in major decisions with 10 and was also second in pins with six. He carried a 3.38 GPA in Accounting this season as he has already piled up 57 wins in his career.
All three Monarchs had a significant impact on what was the best wrestling season at ODU since 1990-91 and among the best in program history. Old Dominion finished with the second most dual victories since the inception of the program with 17 paired with just three losses, all to nationally ranked programs.