Manheim, Pa. -- The National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) has announced its annual Division I All-Academic Top 30 Teams and Individual All-Academic wrestling team for the 2012-13 wrestling season.
Harvard University is honored as the nation's top academic wrestling program, while four NCAA Champions (Cornell's 4x Champ Kyle Dake, Oklahoma State's Chris Perry, Penn State's 2x Champ Quentin Wright, and Oklahoma's Kendric Maple) headlined the individual list.
Harvard, led by head coach Jay Weiss, had a team Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.418 to take home top honors. The Crimson were champions in 2011 and finished last year second with a 3.37 GPA. This championship finish marked the program's third win in the past four years and the tenth time that the program has finished in the top 10 under Weiss.
The runner-up in this year's team competition was the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Following a top finish last year, Mark Manning's squad again delivered a strong performance with a 3.32 team GPA.
Rounding out the Top 10 teams was Stanford University (3.25), Indiana University (3.24), University of Virginia (3.24), Brown University (3.23), Lehigh University (3.23), Old Dominion University (3.16), Duke University (3.15), and Penn State University (3.15).
There were a total of 10 teams showing up on the All-Academic squad that finished in the top 30 at this year's NCAA Division I Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. Leading the way was 3x defending team champs Penn State and runner-up and third place finishers Oklahoma State and Minnesota.
The team GPA was determined using a system that includes 12 student-athletes from each program. A total of 10 of these came from the wrestlers that were entries in the NCAA tournament conference qualifier. If teams had less than 10 entries for their respective qualifier, they were allowed to fill those spots with wrestlers that competed in at least one varsity dual during the season.
On this year's Individual All-Academic Team there are 82 total athletes, four NCAA Champions, four NCAA Runner-Ups, 21 All-Americans, and 72 NCAA qualifiers.
Joining the four NCAA Champions were four runner-ups including Lehigh's Robert Hamlin and Penn State's Matthew Brown, Nicholas Megaludis, and David Taylor.
The student-athlete with the highest GPA was Matthew Brown from Penn State University. Brown, who had a 3.97 GPA in Criminology, was also named the NCAA Elite 89 award winner.
Rounding out the Top 5 of the individual list were Virginia's Matthew Snyder (3.95), Hofstra's Steve Bonanno (3.77), North Dakota State's Evan Knutson (3.755), and Ohio State University's Cody Magrum (3.745).
Virginia had the most individuals on the list as eight of their student-athletes finished on the All-Academic team. Ohio University and Penn State finished second with four student-athletes on the team.
"The NWCA All-Academic Team and Individual Team is one of the best acknowledgements that we can give to our coaches and athletes at the end of a physically grueling season� said NWCA Executive Director Mike Moyer. "These young men have proved that they are not only talented competitors but are leaders in the classroom as well. The NWCA Board of Directors and staff look forward to watching these student-athletes continue their success at the collegiate level and eventually as the leaders of the future once they earn their college degrees.
For a list of the Top 30 teams, click here.
For a list of the individual team, click here.
About the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA)
The National Wrestling Coaches Association, established in 1928, is a non-profit organization for the advancement of all levels of the sport of wrestling with primary emphasis on developing coaches who work in academic environments. The membership embraces all people interested in amateur wrestling. The three core competencies of the NWCA are: coaching development, student-athlete welfare, and promotion of wrestling.