April 1, 2014
GREENSBORO, N.C. - NC State sophomore heavyweight Nick Gwiazdowski (Delanson, N.Y.), who captured the conference's first individual national wrestling championship since 2009, Tuesday was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Wrestler of the Year.
Gwiazdowski, who finished the year with a 42-2 record, won the ACC heavyweight title and then plowed through the NCAA field, winning five straight matches and defeating the No. 1 seed in the Tournament, Minnesota's Tony Nelson, to win the title. He became the first ACC wrestler to win a national championship since the Wolfpack's Darrion Caldwell in 2009. He was also the third Wolfpack wrestler to claim the heavyweight title, following Sylvester Terkay (1993) and Tab Thacker (1984). Gwiazdowski won his final 20 matches of the year.
"I'm very honored to be named the 2014 ACC Wrestler of the Year," said Gwiazdowski. "I take a lot of pride in competing in such a great wrestling conference, as well as being part of a program here at NC State that is on the rise. This award would not be possible without my family, friends, coaches and teammates here at NC State."
Gwiazdowski's performance helped NC State finish 19th nationally as a team, one of six ACC schools who finished 25th or better.
"Our conference has grown nationally into one of the elites, so this is a great honor for Nick and for our team", said NC State coach Pat Popolizio. "This is an award that shows Nick's dedication and hard work. This is a big statement for NC State, a major building block for us to become a top program, both in the ACC and nationally."
The ACC Wrestler of the Year award was established in 1991. Gwiazdowski becomes the third Wolfpack wrestler to be honored: Sylvester Terkay in 1991, 1992 and 1993 and Darrion Caldwell in 2007 and 2009.
Media Coverage of Gwiazdowski:
GoPack.com: #PackMentality - Gwiazdowski Wins 2014 National Championship
GoPack.com: NCAA Champion Gwiazdowski Recounts Title Win
The Wolfpacker: Video reel - NCAA Champion Gwiazdowski
NC State Bulletin: Wolfpack Wrestler Wins National Title
Press & Sun Bulletin: Former Binghamton Wrestler, Coach Celebrate National Title at NC State
Pack Pride: The Champ is Here
Raleigh News & Observer: Gwiazdowski Grew into NCAA Champion at NC State
The Wolfpacker: Heavyweight Gwiazdowski is NC State's Sixth National Champion
WRAL.com: NC State wrestler winning titles with more in mind