Wrestling coach earns 150th career win

John Stutzman continues to take UB to greater heights

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UB wrestling head coach John Stutzman earned his 150th career win and the team won its fifth-straight dual match with a 26-12 victory over SIU-Edwardsville Friday at Alumni Arena.

In his seventh season as head coach, Stutzman has helped lead the Bulls to greater heights. He helped grant legitimacy to a program that has often struggled to create a winning product. During his tenure, the Bulls have produced numerous national qualifiers and have challenged for the conference crown.

For his recent efforts, Stutzman was named 2019 MAC Coach of the Year.

In the 1990s, Stutzman was a student at UB. He was a three-year member of the wrestling team, graduating as its all-time leader in career wins.

After college, he spent seven years as an assistant coach at Buffalo, Northern Illinois and Bloomsburg. Stutzman then spent eight seasons at Bloomsburg, where he won three EWL Coach of the Year awards and coached three NCAA Division-I All-Americans.

In 2013-14, he took over the UB job. He found immediate success, tripling the Bulls’ win total from the year before and landing a wrestler in the national tournament.

Chris Yang | The Spectrum

Over the next few seasons, the Bulls took steps to become a top program: In 2015-16, they defeated their first ranked opponent since 2010; in 2016-17 and earned their most dual victories since 2004. And in 2018, they had a wrestler advance to the championship match at the NCAA Championships.

This steady ascent culminated with Stutzman earning coach-of-the-year honors and the Bulls finishing second at the 2019 MAC Championships.

Troy Keller (165 lb.) and Brett Perry (197) both finished as MAC champions, as the Bulls earned their highest finish in program history.

With a 26-12 win over SIU-Edwardsville, the Bulls are 7-6 overall and 3-2 in MAC play in the 2019-2020 season. Redshirt junior Derek Spann has been perhaps the most impressive wrestler, winning his eighth dual match by pin or tech fall this season.

“We’re getting better,” Stutzman said in the official release. “These guys are doing a really good job out there competing, so it’s been fun.”

The Bulls have seven matches before the 2020 MAC Championships in DeKalb, IL. They return to action against Clarion on Friday night.

Justin Weiss is a senior sports editor and can be reached at justin.weiss@ubspectrum.com

JUSTIN WEISS


Justin Weiss is an asst. sports editor at The Spectrum