2016 NWCA Hall of Fame Class to be Inducted on March 10
Mar 8, 2016
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The 2016 National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) Division III Hall of Fame Banquet will take place on Thursday, March 10, 2016 at the Double Tree by Hilton in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A social begins at 6:30 p.m. in Ballroom B and C, followed by the induction ceremony at 7:30 p.m. Each year preceeding the NCAA Division III National Wrestling Championships, the NWCA takes a few moments to honor those individuals who have given so much to the sport of wrestling at the collegiate level.
The 2016 class includes:
Bob Gaudenzi 1980-2009 (Hunter College)
Gaudenzi had over 200 collegiate dual meet victories and two top-11 finishes at the NCAA’s. He qualified a wrestler to the NCAA championships in 27 out of his 29 years at Hunter. While at Hunter, Gaudenzi had 13 of his wrestlers earned All-American status with one of them winning a National Championship. Eight of his wrestlers achieved NWCA Scholar All-American honors under his tenure. He coached 50 NYS Collegiate placers with one Champion. Bob was selected as the 1995 Metro Conference “Coach of the Year” and the 2007 NYC Beat the Streets “Coach of the Year”. He served as the Metro Conference president from 1988-2012 as well as the NYS Collegiate Coaches Association Secretary from 2004-2010.
Randy Steward 1993-present (Loras College)
Steward’s coaching record at Loras is 237-210-2. He has had six top-11 finishes at the NCAA as well as placing 12 times in the top-16. Steward has coached 53 All-Americans with three of them winning national titles. He’s had 17 of his wrestlers earn Scholar All-American status and his team has been one of the Top-20 Scholar Teams six times. He has been the IIAC Coach of the Year four times and the NCAA Central Regional Coach of the Year in 2014. Steward is the current IIAC Wrestling Coaches Chairman and a NWCA Board Member. He was the NWCA DIII Coaches Association President from 2007-2010, Vice President from 2004-2007, and the NCAA National Wrestling Championships Assistant Tournament Director in 2004 and 2007.
Scott Whirley ’82 (Augsburg College)
A three-time All-American wrestler for the Auggies, Whirley served his alma mater for 22 seasons (1982-84, 1986-2005, 2006-07) as an assistant coach under head coach Jeff Swenson, helping to build the Augsburg wrestling program into a small-college national power.
During Whirley’s tenure as a member of the coaching staff, Augsburg won 10 NCAA Division III wrestling national titles in a 17-year span. The Auggies had 145 All-Americans and 39 individual national champions (one NAIA, 38 NCAA-III) in Whirley’s coaching career.
Augsburg has also been a success in the classroom. During Whirley’s tenure, Augsburg produced 94 NWCA Scholar All-Americans. Augsburg has also had eight Academic All-Americans in wrestling, as awarded by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), during Whirley’s tenure. Over the 10 seasons the NWCA has awarded Division III academic team national championships while Whirley was an assistant coach, Augsburg finished second three times and first once (1998-99).
With Whirley as an assistant coach, Augsburg won Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament titles 18 times and MIAC Team Duals titles 14 times, along with winning the NCAA Division III Great Lakes Regional title four times.
In 2002, Whirley was inducted into the Augsburg Athletic Hall of Fame. Whirley, who won 113 matches at Augsburg, claimed the national championship at 126 pounds in 1979 and earned All-American honors three times, finishing first, second and fourth nationally. He won MIAC titles in 1978 (126), 1981 (134) and 1982 (134) and earned the MIAC tourney MVP award in his senior year.
Whirley joined Jeff Swenson on the Auggie coaching staff in 1982. In 1984, he left to serve as head coach for two seasons at Farmington (Minn.) High School before returning to Augsburg. The native of Robbinsdale, Minn., was an honor student and a two-time state placewinner as a high school wrestler.
Whirley is currently a physical education teacher in the Robbinsdale School District, and lives in Maple Grove, Minn., with his wife, Kelley, and children Adam, Megan and Michael.
Akeem Carter ’06 (Wartburg College)
A native of Waterloo, Iowa, Carter was a three-time national finalist for Wartburg College. Before entering Wartburg, he won two high school state titles for Waterloo West High School. He completed his scholastic career by winning a High School National Championship in 2002.
While Carter was at Wartburg he won titles at 197 pounds in 2004 and 2005, before falling in the 2006 championship match while wrestling at 184 pounds. He finished with a stellar career record of 99-11, racking up bonus points in 18 of his wins. He helped lead the Wartburg Knights to two team NCAA Division III National Championships in 2004 and 2006, and to a runner-up finish in 2005.
Carter is a successful businessman, living in Houston, Texas. He is the Co-Founder and CEO of Active at Home Fitness and married to Kristen Nicole Carter and they have a new four month-old baby, Kalani.
Henry Gerten ’98 (Augsburg College)
Gerten won two individual national titles for the Augsburg College, winning titles at 118 pounds in both 1997 and 1998. He was a three-time All-American for the Auggies, adding a fourth-place finish in 1996 to his two national crowns.
He finished his three-year Augsburg career (transferring from the University of Wisconsin after his freshman year) with a record of 104-7, (at the time, the best all-time wrestling winning percentage (.937) in school history). In 1996-97, Gerten went 44-0, and was the first Augsburg wrestler ever to go through a season unbeaten. He had a school-record 64-match winning streak during his career. Gerten was a three-time Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champion, winning titles at 118 pounds in 1996, 1997 and 1998.
Gerten was a team co-captain for Auggie squads which won NCAA Division III national titles in both 1997 and 1998, while also a member of the Augsburg squad that finished second in 1996.
Gerten won titles in all 16 tournaments entered during his junior and senior seasons, including a win in the Orange Bowl Sunshine Open his senior season, where he was named the tournament’s outstanding wrestler after beating the bronze medalist in the 1996 Olympics from Cuba.
In the classroom, Gerten finished with a 3.52 grade-point average as an elementary education major, graduating cum laude. He was a two-time National Wrestling Coaches Association Scholar All-American.
In 1998, Gerten was named as the Division III honoree for the NCAA’s Today’s Top VIII award, which honors outstanding student-athletes for excellence on the athletic field, in the classroom and as a student leader.
A native of Rosemount, Minn., Gerten was also named as the 1998 Midwest Sports Channel Sports Salute’s Mike Augustin/Division III Athlete of the Year. He also was named a Co-Senior Honor Athlete at Augsburg College in 1998.
Since graduating from Augsburg, Gerten had served as an assistant coach at Augsburg, a coach for the Minnesota Storm, head coach at Dakota County Technical College, and as an assistant coach at Rosemount (Minn.) High School. He is currently the co-head coach, along with fellow Augsburg alum Chad Olson, of the Farmington (Minn.) High School wrestling team. He is a social studies teacher at Rosemount Middle School.
Cody Koenig ’05 (UW-Stevens Point)
A 2005 UW-Stevens Point graduate, Koenig’s name is still featured prominently in the wrestling record books. He remains the only wrestler in program history to achieve an undefeated season, going 36-0 in 2002-03. Koenig was 118-18 in his career and his .867 career winning percentage is the third-best in program history. Koenig is one of only five UW-SP wrestlers to be a three-time WIAC champion and one of just four to be a three-time NCAA All-American, including a national championship at 174 pounds in 2003. He is also a four-time NCAA qualifier. In 2002, Koenig was named the UW-SP Male Individual Sport Freshman Athlete of the Year. He went on to be named the 2003 UW-SP Male Individual Sport Athlete of the Year.
Prior to college, Koenig went to Underwood High School, in Underwood, Iowa. He was a member of two state championship teams and won an individual state title in 2001. He currently resides in Des Moines, Iowa and is an operations manager for O’Keefe Elevator Company.
Jimmy Wallace ‘03 (Wilmington College)
A four-time All American at the Division III level, Wallace capped off his collegiate career with an undefeated season, earning a national title at 157 pounds and the Outstanding Wrestler award in 2002. He finished his career with an outstanding 123-9 overall record, going 30-0 as a senior, and is the most decorated wrestler in school history.
A 2003 graduate, he finished his freshman and sophomore campaigns with a 5th place at the NCAA Championships. His junior year was an improvement, taking third before the title in his senior year. In 2001 and in 2002, he led the nation in takedowns and winning percentage. As a wrestler, he was dominant. As a person, he was caring, happy, and always had a smile on his face.
After earning his degree in education from Wilmington, he began working with special needs students in Dayton, Ohio. He currently lives in Germantown, Ohio, and teaches and coaches wrestling at Valley View High School. He is married with four children: Bailey, Brady, Mercedes, and Bo.
Dick Simmons 1992-present (Cornell College)
Simmons is in his eighth season as the associate director of athletics, after working 17 years as Cornell’s head athletic trainer. Simmons has served on the NCAA Division III Wrestling Committee since 2011 and was committee chair from 2012-14 and 2015-present. He was instrumental in helping to get the NCAA Regionals approved and the increase in total participants from 160 to 180. He was Tournament Director for the 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, and 2014 NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships, and will assume the same role for the 2016 Championships in Cedar Rapids. The running of a National Championships is a tremendous stress on any athletic department. Simmons has headed the charge in six of the last nine seasons. He has constantly upgraded the National Championships experience for fans, coaches, and student-athletes.
He filled the role of Interim Director of Athletics at Cornell during the 2007-2008 academic year after working seven years as the Assistant Director of Athletics.
A 1990 graduate of William Penn College, he earned a major in physical education with a minor in psychology. He spent one season as head athletic trainer at William Penn University before joining Cornell.
Simmons helped start Cornell’s sports medicine program in 1991. In honor of his contributions, Cornell recognizes a student staff member annually with the Dick R. Simmons Sports Medicine Assistant of the Year Award.