Harvard head wrestling coach Jay Weiss (Photo/Harvard)
MANHEIM, Pa. -- Harvard's reputation as one of the top academic institutions in the world is widely known. In the wrestling world, Harvard continues to be the gold standard when it comes to measuring academic success among its peers.
For the fifth time in the past six years, Harvard is the top team in the annual NWCA Division I All-Academic team standings released Wednesday by the National Wrestling Coaches Association. The Crimson achieved a team GPA of 3.5654 and placed four individuals on the individual All-Academic team.
Link: Top 30 All-Academic Teams
Link: NWCA Division I All-Academic Individuals
"We've said it time and time again, Jay Weiss runs one of the most complete and challenging academic and athletic teams in the country," said NWCA Executive Director Mike Moyer. "The Ivy League notwithstanding, coach Weiss does a tremendous job in ensuring his athletes get the most out of their athletic and academic experience. It shows you can have brains and brawn."
Harvard is followed by Kent State of the Mid-American Conference in second. Sacred Heart, American and Stanford round out the top five, followed by Utah Valley, North Dakota State, Drexel, Campbell and Ohio State to complete the top 10.
Awarded annually, the NWCA All-Academic team is comprised of 155 student-athletes. Five Division I champions made the team, while seven additional runners-up were included. In all, 42 All-Americans were All-Academic selections. Of the 155 individuals, 123 were at minimum NCAA Division I qualifiers, up from 115 a year ago. 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.
Ohio State finished with seven wrestlers on the All-Academic team, six of them All-Americans including three-time NCAA champion and recent AAU Sullivan Award winner Kyle Snyder. The Buckeyes' seven individuals is the best of any program in 2017-18. Five schools featured five individuals on the team -- Drexel, Kent State, NC State, Stanford and NCAA champion Penn State. Of Penn State's five individual All-Academic selections, three were All-Americans including NCAA individual champions Jason Nolf and Zain Retherford.
Joining Nolf, Retherford and Snyder on the All-Academic team were NCAA champions Spencer Lee of Iowa and Michael Macchiavello of NC State.
"Half of our NCAA Division I champions and 12 of our 20 Division I finalists were represented this year from nine different programs," said Moyer. "We're seeing how and why wrestling brings a certain level of quality student-athlete to campuses nationwide."
Eastern Michigan, which recently announced it was dropping wrestling along with three other sports, came in ranked 11th in the All-Academic Top 30 and had three wrestlers on the All-Academic team - Kyle Springer, Zachary Carson and Kayne MacCallum. Twelve different teams had at least four representatives on the All-Academic team: American, Campbell, Harvard, Iowa, Lehigh, Lock Haven, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota State, South Dakota State, Utah Valley and Wisconsin.
The EIWA had eight of its 16 member schools listed in the Top 30, followed by the MAC with six teams. The Big 12 had five teams represented, while the Big Ten had four.
Questions regarding individuals and team placement on the NWCA All-Academic team can be directed to Jim Beeghley at the NWCA at firstname.lastname@example.org.