NWCA 2020 Division III Wrestling Hall of Fame presented by Defense Soap
Manheim, PA – The National Wrestling Coaches Association is proud to announce the Division III Hall of Fame Class of 2020 presented by Defense Soap. Coach Tim Clouse (Rhode Island Collge) along with wrestlers, Pete Gonzalez (Montclair State University), Daniel Laurent (University of Wisconsin – La Crosse), Perry Miller (University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point), and Aaron Wernimont (Wartburg College) have been selected for enshrinement during this years Division III Hall of Fame Banquet.
Tim Clouse – Coach, Rhode Island College
Coach Clouse was a fixture at Rhode Island College for nearly 20 years, first serving as assistant coach from 1981-1993 and then as head coach from 1994-1999. As Head Coach, Coach Clouse earned New England Rookie Coach of the Year and produced Rhode Island’s first NCAA Champion in Bill Cotter in 1994 as his teams won 5 straight New England Conference Championships. Coach Clouse coached 9 All-American wrestlers and 3 Academic All-Americans and earned National Assistant Coach of the Year in 1998. He is a member of the Rhode Island College Athletic Hall of Fame (1992) and the Rhode Island Coaches Association Hall of Fame (1995).
Pete Gonzalez – Athlete, Montclair State University
An NCAA Div. III Champion in both 1988 and 1989 at 126lbs, Pete Gonzalez was a 4-time NCAA All-American reaching the national finals three times throughout his storied career (2nd, 3rd, 1st, 1st). He was twice invited to participate in the NCAA Div. I Championships and earned All-American honors both in 1988 (7th) and 1989 (5th). He completed his outstanding college career with 159-15 career record and was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler at the 1989 Div. III NCAA Championships.
In addition to his college career, Gonzalez had considerable international wrestling success finishing 4th at the U.S. Olympic Trials and was a U.S. Open place winner four times, qualifying for the World Team Trials in each of those years.
Daniel Laurent – Athlete, University of Wisconsin – La Crosse
Daniel Laurent was a 3-time NCAA Champion HWT for the Eagles (2008, 2009, 2010). His 124 career wins place him 7th all-time, and he earned a staggering 50 wins by fall. He was the recipient of the 2011 NCAA Today’s Top VIII Award, a national award recognizing eight student-athletes for success in athletics, in the classroom and in the community. His 4 WIAC championships were just the 4th time in conference history that a wrestler earned that distinction. He was named the 2011 College Athlete of the Year by the Greater La Crosse Area Sports Commission.
In addition to his numerous athletic honors, Laurent was a 2-time CoSIDA Academic All-American, maintained a 3.94 GPA while majoring in biochemistry and cellular and molecular biology, and was named UW-La Crosse Biochemistry Student of the Year in 2008.
Perry Miller – Athlete, University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point
Perry Miller earned 4 NCAA All-American honors while making three finals appearances and twice winning the NCAA Championship at HWT (1997 & 1998). He completed his UW – Stevens Point career as the all-time leader in wins (123), pins (78) and single-season pins (25). He is the Pointers only 4-time NCAA All-American and 4-time WIAC Champion. In 1998 he was named the WIAC John Peterson Wrestler of the Year.
He was inducted into the UW –Stevens Point Hall of Fame in 2006.
Aaron Wernimont – Athlete, Wartburg College
Aaron Wernimont won 157lb NCAA Championships in both 2008 and 2009 for Warburg College capping off his college career where he won his final 80 collegiate matches, leading the Knights to consecutive National Team Championships. He earned 3 NCAA All-American honors to go along with 3 Academic All-American awards.
Wernimont died unexpectedly in 2012 at the age of 26 and has since been honored with the Wartburg College Young Alumni Award (2017), appeared on the Iowa High School Athletic Association Sportsmanship-Character Poster (2014), and had the Aaron Wernimont Inspiration Fund established in his honor which has generated more $100,000.
This year’s honorees will be inducted during the 2020 National Wrestling Coaches Association Convention at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, FL. The induction ceremony will take place on Saturday, August 1st, beginning at 7:00 PM.