The Tradition of BW Wrestling

Bryan Kmetz

BEREA, OHIO --  Under the direction of longtime veteran Head Coach Rich Fleming, the Baldwin Wallace University wrestling program has long been one of the best in the Ohio Athletic Conference and NCAA Division III.

"We are proud of our tradition of excellence in wrestling at Baldwin Wallace University," said Fleming. "We are looking to attract the best and brightest talent available because we feel that the College gives our program great support. Our goals every year are to have a winning dual match record, win the annual John Summa Memorial Tournament and place high at all other regular season events, win the annual OAC Tournament title and advance as many individuals to the NCAA Division III National Tournament as possible."

Kevin Higgins

BW is extremely proud of its two NCAA Division III national champions in Paul Petrella in 1977 and Kevin Higgins in 1989 and its two runner-up finishers in 177-pounder Kelly Keenan in 1994 and 285-pounder Bryan Kmetz in 2007.

During the Rich Fleming Era:

  • Two NCAA National Champions
  • Two NCAA Runners-Up
  • 10 Division III All-Americans
  • 18 OAC champions
  • 23 OAC runner-ups

The BW program began its run to excellence in 1948 when the legendary John Summa was named coach.  In his 32-year career, Summa compiled a school and OAC-record 201-140-1 mark, including six OAC titles and a 105-38-1 OAC record. During much of Summa's early career, BW was not a part of the OAC and the Yellow Jackets competed against schools such as Kent State University, the University of Akron, Toledo, Ashland and other current NCAA Division I and II programs.

"We are extremely proud of the accomplishments of our student-athletes who compete in the classroom, on the wrestling mats and on campus to be outstanding leaders," said Fleming, the only other BW wrestling coach to win more than 100 career matches.

This page was last updated on March 8, 2010.
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