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.