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Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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At least eight UB wrestlers enter transfer portal following head coach’s sudden exit

The list of transfers includes Nick Stampoulos and Sam Mitchell, who wrestled at the NCAA Championships

<p>John Stutzman, pictured above, was suddenly removed as wrestling head coach on Thursday after 11 seasons with the Bulls.&nbsp;</p>

John Stutzman, pictured above, was suddenly removed as wrestling head coach on Thursday after 11 seasons with the Bulls. 

At least eight UB wrestlers have announced that they’ve entered the transfer portal in the five days since UB Athletics announced that wrestling head coach John Stutzman would not be returning for the 2024-25 season. 

The list of transfers includes Nick Stampoulos and Sam Mitchell, who competed at the NCAA championships. Mitchell advanced to the second round, according to NCAA results

“Coach Stutz I will never forget all you have done for me. Hard work is not appreciated anymore, they will never understand the passion we have for the sport,” Stampoulos said in an Instagram post announcing his entrance into the transfer portal. “I am beyond grateful for all the opportunity to compete this year.”

At least three freshmen — Max Elton, Sam Ewing and Zach Evans — also announced they would be entering the portal. Two of them — Evans and Ewing — have four remaining years of eligibility. 

On Wednesday, a ninth wrestler, junior Jay Nivison, announced that he was entering the transfer portal. 

A number of current and former UB wrestlers — as well as their friends and family — took to Instagram and X to criticize UB Athletics for letting go of Stutzman. 

“John Stutzman is UB wrestling. Nobody cares about this program like that man,” redshirt sophomore Cole French said in a post to X. “When someone cares about something like he does it scares people and this is the result in the world we live in today. Shame. Disgusting shady act.”

“I’ve never seen a program and coach be attacked more for WANTING TO BE GREAT. Coach Stutzman deserved so much more,” graduate student Caleb Brooks, who is transferring, said an X post. “This is such a shame. So much shade thrown on a man that did NOTHING but Cared and believed about this program.” 

“I will always be grateful and appreciative for Coach Stutzman giving me the opportunity to chase my goals wrestling Division 1. He believed in me when many others didn’t, redshirt senior Tommy Maddox, who is transferring, said in an Instagram post. “This isn’t how I wanted to go out with you, but it is out of our control.”




Stutzman has served as the head coach of the men’s wrestling team for the past 11 seasons. He returned to the program in 2013, after graduating from UB in 1998 to wrap up a successful four-year career on the mats. He led the Bulls to finish second in the MAC championships in 2019, the same year he was named MAC coach of the year

UB wrestling went 10-12 overall this season, with a 5-3 record in conference play. 

“I want to thank Coach Stutzman for his dedication and service to the UB wrestling program,” Alnutt said in a statement on Thursday. “While his tenure was marked with many highlights and accomplishments, after much discussion and thorough evaluation of our program, at this time, I believe a fresh start will move the program forward.”

The nine wrestlers who've entered the transfer portal as of Wednesday afternoon are:

  • Caleb Brooks, graduate student
  • Max Elton, freshman
  • Zach Evans, freshman
  • Sam Ewing, freshman
  • Tommy Maddox, redshirt senior
  • Sam Mitchell, redshirt senior
  • Jay Nivison, junior
  • Hunter Shaut, redshirt senior
  • Nick Stampoulos, redshirt freshman


Editor's note, April 3, 2 p.m.: This article has been updated to include Jay Nivison's announcement that he has entered the transfer portal as well as a complete list of the wrestlers entering the transfer portal. 


Henry Daley is an assistant sports editor and can be reached at henry.daley@ubspectrum.com   

Grant Ashley is the editor in chief and can be reached at grant.ashley@ubspectrum.com 


GRANT ASHLEY
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Grant Ashley is the editor in chief of The Spectrum. He's also reported for NPR, WBFO, WIVB and The Buffalo News. He enjoys taking long bike rides, baking with his parents’ ingredients and recreating Bob Ross paintings in crayon. He can be found on the platform formerly known as Twitter at @Grantrashley. 


HENRY DALEY
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Henry Daley is an assistant sports editor at The Spectrum. His work has featured on other platforms such as Medium and Last Word on Sports. Outside of the newspaper, he enjoys running and watching sports (when he’s not writing about them). 

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