BUFFALO, NY - The National Wrestling Coaches Association has announced its annual Division I All-Academic Top 30 Teams and the NWCA Individual All-Academic wrestling team for the 2011-12 wrestling season. Graduating senior Kevin Smith was named to the team for the fourth straight season, capping his decorated career.
On this year's Individual All-Academic Team there are 87 total athletes, five NCAA Champions, three NCAA Runner-Ups, 23 All-Americans and 77 NCAA Qualifiers.
Smith finished his career at Buffalo with a 29-9 overall record, including 16-5 in dual meets (tied for seventh most in a single season). In November, he became the seventh wrestler in program history to reach 100 career wins, his final total of 122 comes in at second on the all-time list and his 52 career wins in dual meets are a new program record.
This past season, Smith recorded 25 takedowns and a team-high three wins by fall in dual meets. He also won his third career New York State Championship and was named Most Outstanding Wrestler, making him the second Buffalo wrestler to ever pull off the feat, joining Ray Pfeiffer's three titles in 1975-1977. Only 19 other wrestlers in the tournament's history have won three.
"The NWCA All-Academic Team and Individual Team is one of the best acknowledgements that we can give to our coaches and athletes at the end of a physically grueling season. These 87 young men have proved that they are not only talented competitors but are leaders in the classroom as well," said NWCA Executive Director Mike Moyer in the NWCA's official release Tuesday. "The NWCA Board of Directors and staff look forward to watching these student-athletes continue their success at the collegiate level and eventually as the leaders of the future once they earn their college degrees."
Smith, currently in the doctoral program for physical therapy, was also named to the Mid-American Conference's Academic team.