This week, Takedown Report shared the results of its research into the most successful coaches in NCAA Division II.
As TDR's Martin Fleming points out, the D2 National Championships were first held in 1963 ... joining the existing NCAA Division I mat championships. Since that debut, 57 championship teams have been crowned ... with 15 different schools claiming at least one national team title.
Vaughan Hitchcock with his 1969 championship teamWhich school and coach is the top of the Division II heap? Vaughan Hitchcock took California State Polytechnic University -- better known as Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo -- to eight championships. "Hitchcock first won at the fourth National Championship in 1966," Fleming wrote. "In 1968 Hitchcock coached his team to another championship which became the first of seven consecutive titles. This has been the longest streak of consecutive titles in Division II." (Note: Cal Poly wrestling now competes in NCAA Division I.)
Three coaches are tied for second place in the rankings, with seven titles each: Joe Seay at California State University Bakersfield, David James at Central Oklahoma, and Mike Denney at Nebraska-Omaha. Of the top four coaches, only Denney is still active, now at Maryville University after UNO eliminated its wrestling program.
Two other active coaches have led their programs to more than one Division II team championship: Steve Costanzo at St. Cloud State in Minnesota (with a string of four consecutive titles, 2015-19) ... and Pat Pecora at University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown, with two D2 team titles.
You'll find a more complete analysis of the coaches who have earned at least one NCAA Division II team crown -- and their schools -- at the Takedown Report website.
Want to know about the coaches and colleges beyond NCAA Division II? Takedown Report already shared its analysis of Division I championship coaches. Down the road, TDR promises to also provide similar analysis of NCAA Div. III championship coaches, as well as those who head up NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) and NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association) wrestling programs that have won national titles.
Questions? Comments? Contact TDR editor Martin Fleming directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.