Wilkes Wrestling Keep Building

In it's 70 year span, The Wilkes Wrestling program has made it's mark in the collegiate wrestling space as one of the most winningest traditions in history.

Legendary Coach John G. Reese took the program by storm in 1953 and positioned the Colonels into a national powerhouse just seven years into it's inaugural season. Under Reese's leadership, he saw Wilkes to a Division III National Championship in 1974, 10 individual NCAA champions, and 46 All Americans.

Wilkes ascended to Division I in 1976 as part of the EIWA conference. Before leaving the conference after 1997, The college was re-named Wilkes University in 1990 and Reese crafted a rich tradition by annually hosting “The Rose Bowl of Wrestling,” the nation’s oldest holiday tournament, first held in 1932 which present Head Coach Jon Laudenslager still maintains today.

A 1998 graduate of Wilkes University with a degree in psychology, Head Coach Jon Laudenslager was a former standout wrestler of Wilkes' Division I contingent. The Wilkes Wrestling program holds a special place in his heart as he has felt achievement as a competitor for the Colonels and continues to achieve as a leader.

"The program represents everyone who has ever put on the Wilkes singlet, so there is a certain amount of expectation to be part of our historic program."

Laudenslager took over the program in 2003 and has amassed a 222-88 dual meet record in his 14 years serving as head coach. Laudenslager coached his first-ever NCAA Division III National Champion in freshman Matthew Grossmann (133) in 2014-15.

Head Assistant Coach Mitch Marcks

Marcks has been instrumental in the development of the program as he has served as the Head Assistant for 13 of Laudenslager's 14 seasons. Marcks was a three-time All-American at King's College, where he compiled a career record of 144-18, with a runner-up finish in 2003.

Mitch brings a wealth of experience as a wrestler and someone who just took off once he got to college. he motivates our guys well and technically he can work with any kid and fit it to their style.
"I want our athletes to reach their full potential. For some that will be a National Championship, for others it may be a great teammate who is always ready to battle hard for seven minutes."

56 All-Americans, 11 Individual National Champions.

Laudenslager and Marcks have sustained Wilkes' winning tradition as they have coached twelve NCAA Division III All-Americans including two-time All-American Anthony Dattolo. Although, they're pride lies in helping their wrestlers flourish in their respective fields.

The amount of discipline it takes to achieve things at a high level is remarkable. The University prepares our athletes in their fields, but a huge part of their college experience will be the time they spend together competing in the greatest sport in the world.
Laudenslager has coached over 26 NWCA Scholar All-Americans including Pankil Chander, Nick Raccanelli, and Denzel Tovar in 2017.
Wilkes won an East Region Championship in 2014, sending six wrestlers to the NCAA Championships including All-American Mark Hartenstine.
Alumni are awesome, everyone takes so much pride in being a past Colonel. We love creating events that bring them together and take part in what we are still accomplishing today.

Wilkes Wrestling alumni serve in the grappling achievement program at the beginning of each season to share insight on their professional development and the transferable skills they've acquired during their time as student-athletes.

The Colonels marked a 20-5 dual meet record in the 2017 season with a sole NCAA Qualifier in Nick Raccanelli at 157lbs.
it all starts with a great deal of discipline on the student-athletes part.

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