Oct. 21, 2008
EVANSTON, Ill. -- For nearly a month, Northwestern has been in the midst of preseason practice as it looks to build upon the program's recent successes. As Northwestern draws closer to the start of the 2008-09 wrestling season, head coach Tim Cysewski's squad took some time out to be recognized for its outstanding achievements over the course of the past two years during the Oct. 18 football game versus Purdue.
Among those on hand were Northwestern's back-to-back NCAA individual champions, Dustin Fox (Galion, Ohio/Galion) and Jake Herbert (Wexford, Pa./North Allegheny). Fox, who twice reached All-American status, finished his collegiate career by taking home the championship in the heavyweight division last March in Saint Louis, claiming the first heavyweight title by a Wildcat since 1932.
Herbert is a three-time All-American who capped off his 32-0 2007 season with an NCAA crown in the 184-pound weight class. After taking one year off from Northwestern in an attempt to qualify for the Olympics, Herbert is back for NU as a sixth-year senior in search of his third Big Ten title and second NCAA championship.
Junior Brandon Precin (Orland Park, Ill./Carl Sandburg) earned All-American honors for the first time in 2008, finishing 37-9 overall and claiming seventh place at 125 pounds in the NCAA tournament. Precin and Herbert are joined this year by fellow NCAA qualifier at 141 pounds Keith Sulzer (Cleveland, Ohio/St. Edward) and newcomers such as freshman Jason Welch (Walnut Creek, Calif./Las Lomas), winner of the Junior Dan Hodge Trophy as the nation's best high school wrestler as a senior.
Northwestern's student-athletes weren't the only members of the program receiving recognition on Saturday. Andrew Pariano
, who was promoted to the position of associate head coach during the off-season, was acknowledged for being honored by the NWCA as Assistant Coach of the Year. Pariano, a 2000 graduate of Northwestern, is in his fourth year as a member of Northwestern's coaching staff.
NU opens the 2008-09 season on Nov. 9 at the Michigan State Open and hosts its first home match on Dec. 4 against Northern Illinois.