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Program Information: A Championship Program

Do you like to win?  If you do, Baldwin Wallace University and its outstanding wrestling program is the place for you!  This is a CHAMPIONSHIP PROGRAM.

The BW wrestling program has been one best in the Ohio Athletic Conference, the Mideast (2016 and 2017) and Central Region (2018 and 2019) of Division III and all of NCAA Division III. In addition, BW wrestlers also have made a significant commitment in the classroom and have had equal success. History proves those facts, both past and recent

The Recent Success

BW has won the last four OAC titles. That is a first in school history.

The Yellow Jackets have compiled a 90-20 dual match record the last five seasons for an .818 winning percentage. It also includes a 26-2 mark in the OAC. In addition, BW has been nationally-ranked by the National Wrestling Coaches Association each season.

In 2018-2019, the Yellow Jackets won their fourth consecutive OAC title, placed second at Central Regional and advanced six wrestlers to the Div. III National Tournament with two earning Div. III All-America honors. BW had a 14-2 overall and a 5-1 OAC slate and was ranked as high as fifth in the final NWCA national poll. In addition, BW was honored at the NCAA Div. III National Tournament for having the second-best grade point average of any Division III wrestling program.

In 2017-2018, BW won its third straight OAC crown, captured its first-ever NCAA Division III Central Region title and advanced a record nine grapplers to the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament, which was held at Public Hall in Cleveland, Ohio. The nine were the most of any school in Division III. Two earned Division III All-America honors. BW was 19-2 overall and a perfect 6-0 in the OAC and ranked as high as sixth in the NWCA national poll. In addition, BW has had 13 of its wrestling student-athletes named to the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) Scholar All-America team. That is more than any other school in Division III.

In both 2015-2016 and 2016-2017, BW placed second at the Mideast Regional Tournament and qualified seven wrestlers to the NCAA Division III National Tournament. In 2015-2016, BW compiled an 18-8 overall and 5-0 OAC mark. At that time the 18 wins were a school-record. A year later, Head Coach Jamie Gibbs' team set the current school record with 22 wins, compiled a 22-3 overall and 6-0 OAC mark.

In 2014-2015, Gibbs led his Yellow Jackets to a then record 17 dual match wins, a 17-5 overall and 4-1 OAC record, a sixth place finish at the Mideast Regional and a 20th-place finish at the Div. III National Tournament. Jesse Gunter, Garrett Chase and then sophomore Josh Decatur '18 were Div. III national tourney qualifiers, and Gunter (fourth) and Chase (seventh) went on to earn Division III All-America accolades. In addition, four student-athletes were named to the NWCA (National Wrestling Coaches Association) Scholar All-America Team. BW finished 20th in the final NWCA poll.

In 2013-2014, Gibbs and the Yellow Jacket program took a major step forward as it had an 8-3 dual match record and sent three wrestlers to the 2014 Div. III national tourney, including Gunter who placed third and earned Div. III All-American status. In addition, three Yellow Jackets, including Gunter, were named to the NWCA Scholar All-America Team. BW finished the season ranked 22nd in the final adidas-Brute/ NWCA Division III poll. It was BW's first Top-25 ranking since 2007


Two National Champs and Two Runners-up:

BW is extremely proud of its two NCAA Division III national champions in Paul Petrella in 1977 and Kevin Higgins in 1989 and its two runner-up finishers in 177-pounder Kelly Keenan in 1994 and 285-pounder Bryan Kmetz in 2007, and a third place finish from junior Jesse Gunter.

Recent History of Individual Success:

  • Two NCAA National Champions
  • Two NCAA Runners-Up
  • 15 Division III All-Americans
  • 18 OAC champions
  • 23 OAC runner-ups

The Legendary John Summa Built BW into a Winner In Wrestling in the 1960s:

The BW program began its run to excellence in 1948 when the legendary John Summa was named coach.  In his 32-year career, Summa compiled a school and OAC-record 201-140-1 mark, including six OAC titles and a 105-38-1 OAC record. During much of Summa's early career, BW was not a part of the OAC and the Yellow Jackets competed against schools such as Kent State University, the University of Akron, Toledo, Ashland and other current NCAA Division I and II programs.

Past History

Rich Fleming Page  
OAC Wrestling Records Page

This page was last updated by Kevin Ruple on March 9, 2019