Daniel Lewis looks for the fall (Photo/Mark Lundy, Lutte-Lens.com)
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Purdue wrestling head coach Tony Ersland made a splashy hire Wednesday, welcoming four-time NCAA All-American Daniel Lewis into the Boilermaker wrestling room as a graduate assistant. The former Missouri Tiger competed at 165 and 174 pounds over the last four NCAA seasons, graduating as one of the top wrestlers in program history.
"It's not every day you have the opportunity to bring a four-time All-American into your room, and we're thrilled to welcome Daniel to our team," said Ersland. "His success on the mat speaks for itself, his abilities in the classroom are even more impressive and I can't wait to get him around our guys."
The Blue Springs, Missouri native racked up a career record of 118-17 for the Tigers, earning All-America at 165 pounds as a freshman and sophomore and then at 174 pounds in his final two seasons. He's one of only three four-time All-Americans in Missouri wrestling history, joining Ben Askren and J'den Cox.
"I feel blessed to be granted such an amazing opportunity to continue my education and start giving back to the sport that gave me so much," said Lewis. "My glory days of college wrestling are over, but I plan to find success in the lessons and experiences I pass on to my new Boilermaker family."
Lewis won four straight Mid-American Conference individual titles, leading Missouri to the team championship in every season and was named the MAC Most Outstanding Wrestler in 2018. Fifty-three of his 118 career wins came by fall (44.9%), good for second-most in Missouri history, and he took home the 2019 Gorarrian Award for recording the most falls at the NCAA Championships.
He earned MAC Freshman Wrestler of the Year honors and Missouri's Marshall Esteppe Most Outstanding Freshman award in 2016, finishing 29-6 at 165 pounds and finishing fourth at the NCAA Championships. He followed up with a 28-6 mark in 2017, again at 165, and took sixth at the national tournament.
After moving up to 174 pounds as a junior in 2017-18, Lewis reeled off 32 straight victories to start the season, including a flawless 26-0 mark in the regular season and his third straight MAC title. His 17 falls were a team and career high, and he went on to finish fourth at the NCAA Championships. Lewis's senior season brought a similar level of success, posting a 28-3 overall mark with 17 falls, earning his fourth straight MAC crown and another fourth-place effort at the national tournament. He went undefeated in duals over his final two years and finished 25-1 in dual competition for his career. He shared Missouri's Most Outstanding Wrestler honors in each of his last two seasons and was named the University of Missouri Male Athlete of the Year in 2019.
Lewis earned his Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering in May of 2019 from Missouri with an emphasis in aerospace engineering and will be pursuing his master's degree in Business Administration from the Krannert School of Management at Purdue. He completed a construction/property management internship with The Kroenke Group in Columbia, Missouri in the summer of 2018, and worked at ProCraft Mechanical in Broomfield, Colorado as a project operations intern in 2019.