COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State wrestling team, which won on its second Big Ten title in the last three years and was the national runner-up at the NCAA Championships, celebrated its 2016-17 season on Sunday at its annual awards banquet.
By any measure, the Buckeyes’ campaign this past winter was historic. After finishing with an 11-3 record in duals, including a 7-2 mark in the Big Ten, Ohio State crowned a school-record four individual champions at the Big Ten championships on its way to topping Penn State for the team title. Kollin Moore, the 197 lb. champion, was named the conference’s Freshman of the Year while Tom Ryan was its Coach of the Year.
At the NCAA championships, a program-record six Buckeyes took home All-American honors. That group was headlined by Kyle Snyder, who won his second consecutive national championship at 285 lbs. and finished the season with a perfect 17-0 record. Other All-Americans included Bo Jordan at 174 lbs. (national runner-up), Moore (third, 197 lbs.), Nathan Tomasello (133 lbs.), Micah Jordan (149 lbs.) and Myles Martin (184 lbs.).
In the classroom, the Scarlet and Gray were equally as successful. The Buckeyes had 12 Academic All-Big Ten selection and four NWCA Academic All-Americans (B. Jordan, M. Jordan, Snyder, Tomasello). Ohio State also finished with the NWCA’s 14th highest overall grade-point average.
Tomasello, a sport industry major, took home the team’s award for the highest grade-point average. In addition to being a 2015 national champion, three-time Big Ten champion and three-time All-American, he’s also a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and four-time OSU Scholar Athlete.
The Battling Buckeye award went to Jack Rozema, who is also a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar. He’s won 32 matches over the course of his career and in 2015-16 was the starter in three different duals.
Moore was named the team’s Chris Ford Freshman of the Year on the strength of his 33-4 season that saw him win 18 of his last 20 matches. At the Big Ten Championships, he defeated No. 1 seed Brett Pfarr of Minnesota in the finals, 15-11, and went on to finish third at the NCAA Championships.
The Most Improved award went to M. Jordan, who as a redshirt freshman in 2015-16 was one match shy of earning All-America honors. This year, he surpassed that performance in a big way, taking fourth at the NCAA Championships while also advancing to the Big Ten finals. He was 33-5 this winter and won his first 22 matches of the season.
B. Jordan was selected for the team’s Most Courageous Award after battling injuries for the balance of the season. He came back in a big way during the postseason, winning the 174 pound title at the Big Ten Championships with a 6-4 sudden victory win over Penn State’s Mark Hall. At the NCAA Championships, he overcame a 7-3 third period deficit in the semifinals to win 11-7.
The Mendoza Leadership Award went to senior Nick Tavanello, who was lost for the season due to injury but remained a key part of the team throughout the 2016-17 campaign. Tavanello has already earned his undergraduate degree and is currently enrolled in the sports management master’s degree program.
The Tommy Rowlands MVP/Outstanding Wrestler Award went to Snyder, who became just the fifth two-time national champion in program history. He returned to Columbus this fall after making history at the 2016 Summer Olympics as the youngest gold medalist in U.S. wrestling history. For the Scarlet and Gray this winter, he went 17-0 and won 13 times by bonus points. A finalist for the Dan Hodge Trophy and AAU Sullivan Award, Snyder also competed internationally during the season, claiming gold at the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix in Russia.
Brad Jennings was selected as the 2016-17 Fan of the Year. A loyal and generous supporter of the program both on and off the mat, the Buckeyes' new practice facility will bear his name: The Jennings Family Wrestling Practice Facility.