Jim Koch Division II Hall of Fame to Induct Five

Jim Koch Division II Hall of Fame to Induct Five on Eve of NCAA DII Wrestling Championships

CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA (Feb. 27) – Four former national champions who combined for 528 career wins and a national title-winning coach have been selected for induction into the Jim Koch Division II Hall of Fame, it was announced Tuesday by the NCAA Division II Wrestling Coaches’ Association.

Wrestlers Tervel Dlagnev of the University of Nebraska-Kearney, Travis Eggers of Upper Iowa University, Kyle Evans of the University of Central Oklahoma and Jason Rhoten of Minnesota State University-Mankato along with former UNK head coach Marc Bauer comprise the 2018 class.

The five will be enshrined at the Jim Koch Division II Hall of Fame Banquet, which will be held Thursday, March 8 in Grand Ballroom C of the Cedar Rapids Convention Complex on the eve of start of the 2018 NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships.

The social will begin at 5:30 p.m., with the program to start at 6 p.m.  Questions about tickets can be addressed to Brock Wissmiller, UIU Assistant AD forExternal Affairs, at 563-425-5700 or wissmillerb@uiu.edu. An online registration and ticket site can be found at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nwca-jim-koch-division-ii-hall-of-fame-ceremony-tickets-43096615136.

Dlagnev was a four-time All-American heavyweight at Nebraska-Kearney and finished with a with a phenomenal 167-19 record that included 103 bonus-point wins.  Dlagnev went 38-8 as a freshman in 2004-05, winning the West Regional title before finishing sixth in the national tournament to earn All-America honors.  He repeated as regional champion the next year and ended 42-10 as the national runner-up.

Dlagnev capped his career with back-to-back national championships.  He went 49-1 in 2006-07 and a perfect 38-0 as a senior, winning a 4-1 decision in his final match to hand the Lopers their first-ever team national championship.  He was named NCAA Division II Wrestler of the Year following his senior season and was also a four-time NWCA Academic All-American.

Internationally, Dlagnev would go on to earn spots on eight United States national teams, winning bronze medals in 2009 and 2014 and finishing fifth in 2010 and 2013. Dlagnev reached the pinnacle of wrestling by making the U.S. Olympic Freestyle team in 2012 and 2016 finishing fifth both years.

Eggers was a four-time regional finalist and three-time All-American at Upper Iowa who ended his career with a 100-34 record. He was the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Wrestler of the Year as a sophomore and earned All-America honors that season with a fourth-place finish before coming back the next season to finish as national runner-up.

Eggers was NSIC Wrestler of the Year again as a senior in 2009-10 when he went 26-3 and captured both the regional and national championships at 165 pounds in leading the Peacocks to a third-place national tournament finish, their best-ever in Division II.

Evans was a four-time All-American and two-time national champion at Central Oklahoma who finished with a 125-20 career record, including a school-record 25 technical falls.  Evans captured the Midwest Regional title and finished sixth nationally in 2004-05 in compiling a 24-13 record, then repeated as regional champion and was national runner-up the following season in finishing 30-5.

He became the first individual in UCO’s rich history to complete a full season undefeated as a junior in 2006-07, putting together a perfect 39-0 campaign in winning the national title and leading the Broncos to their 15th team championship. Evans capped his career with another sensational season as a senior, going 32-2 with a  school-record 11 technical falls in winning a fourth straight Midwest Regional crown and repeating as national champion.

Rhoten earned All-America honors four times at Minnesota State and compiled a fabulous 136-23 career record.  He finished fourth in the national tournament as a redshirt freshman and then made it all the way to the national finals as a sophomore before losing a close decision to finish as runner-up.

Rhoten missed the following year with a broken leg, but returned to finish his career with two dominating seasons.  He placed third in the national tournament as a junior and then captured the national title the next season, defeating the two-time defending champion in the finals.

Rhoten was named the NCAA Division II North Region Wrestler of the Year as a senior and was he was also a four-time NWCA Academic All-American.  He led the Mavericks to three conference championships, three North Division Regional titles and three top-four national finishes (second, third and fourth).

Bauer was a three-time All-American wrestler at Nebraska-Omaha, helping lead the Mavericks to their first Division II national championship in 1991 before getting into coaching and teaching.  He took over as Nebraska-Kearney’s head coach in 1999 and led the Lopers to amazing success during 17 years at the helm, racking up a stellar 218-81 dual record.

Bauer directed UNK to 11 top-four national tournament finishes, winning titles in 2008, ’12 and ’13 while also finishing runner-up five times.  The Lopers captured 14 conference/regional championships during his 17-year tenure in addition to claiming the national duals crown in 2003 and ’07.

Bauer was named Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Coach of the Year seven teams, Division II Coach of the Year twice and was awarded the Bob Bubb Excellence Award in 2005.  He coached 90 All-America honors, including 22 national champions, and had 154 wrestlers named to the NWCA Division II Academic All-America team.

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