Bethany lands atop NWCA NAIA All-Academic Team for 2017-18
Manheim, Pennsylvania — Bethany College of Lindsborg, Kansas checked in atop the annual NWCA NAIA All-Academic team standings for the 2017-18 season announced Monday by the National Wrestling Coaches Association.
Head coach Larry Nugent’s team checked in with an average team GPA of 3.4673, good enough to unseat last year’s top team, Morningside, which came in second with an average GPA of 3.3720.
“Coach Nugent has long been a leader in the wrestling community,” said NWCA Executive Director Mike Moyer. “We’ve seen the impact he’s had on his student-athletes in just his second year with the program. We’re also seeing a rise in the averages from the top 10 teams within the NAIA.”
Montana State-Northern, Indiana Tech and Menlo College round out the top five.
Individually, Grand View put seven wrestlers on the individual All-Academic team, led by national champions Grant Henderson (165 pounds) and Evan Hanson (197 pounds). Five of the seven Grand View wrestlers were All-Americans this past season.
Bethany, Indiana Tech, Montana State-Northern and Providence (Mont.) each had four individuals on the All-Academic team, with 22 different programs represented. Individually, 52 wrestlers received All-Academic accolades, with 28 of them earning All-American honors on the mat in the 2017-18 season.
Along with Henderson and Hanson, national champions Chuck Sharon of Campbellsville (184), Cam Tessari of Lindsey Wilson (149) and Hayden Lee of the University of the Cumberlands (125) were also recognized for academic success.
“The NAIA is the fastest-growing section of college wrestling and it’s a driving force in our goal to add more wrestling programs to show these college and university administrators they type of student-athlete they’re trying to bring to their campuses,” said Moyer. “Six of the top ten teams didn’t even field programs prior to 2001. Bethany just launched its program in 2011 and they’re already seeing the academic benefits of bringing wrestling to its campus.”