National Wrestling Hall of Fame

White House Welcomes NCAA Wrestling Champions

By USA Wrestling
Members of the 2019 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship team from The Pennsylvania State University, as well as many of the 2019 NCAA Division I individual wrestling champions will be honored guests at the White House on Friday, November 22 in Washington, D.C.

Five of the athletes scheduled to attend are winners of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame’s Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award: Anthony Ashnault, Yianni Diakomihalis, Nick Nevills, Bo Nickal, and Nick Suriano.

The wrestlers and coaches were invited as part of an NCAA Champions Day, which will also include athletes from other sports.

The athletes will visit The White House during the morning of Friday, November 22 and are expected to meet President Donald J. Trump as part of their tour.

Invited to the White House were Penn State’s 2019 NCAA championship team, as well as all 10 of the 2019 NCAA Division I individual champions, which also includes athletes from Arizona State University, Cornell University, Northern Iowa University, Rutgers University, the University of Iowa, and Virginia Tech University.

While college wrestlers have been previously recognized by President Trump and other administrations, this is reportedly the first time all of the NCAA Division I individual champions have been invited.

Expected to attend are the following wrestlers, coaches, and university leaders:

Penn State University
Jason Nolf, 2019 NCAA champion at 157 pounds
Bo Nickal, 2019 NCAA champion at 197 pounds
Mason Manville, Varsity wrestling student-athlete
Nick Nevills, Varsity wrestling student-athlete
Rick Kaluza, Senior Associate Athletic Director, Finance and Business Operations

Rutgers University
Nick Suriano, 2019 NCAA champion at 133 pounds
Anthony Ashnault, 2019 NCAA champion at 149 pounds
Scott Goodale, Head Coach
Donny Pritzlaff, Associate Head Coach

Cornell University
Yianni Diakomihalis, 2019 NCAA champion at 141 pounds
Rob Koll, The David Dunlop ’59 Head Coach of Wrestling

Virginia Tech
Mekhi Lewis, 2019 NCAA champion at 165 pounds
Tony Robie, Head Coach

University of Northern Iowa
Drew Foster, 2019 NCAA champion at 184 pounds
Randy Pugh, Assistant Coach

With the 2019-2020 NCAA wrestling season underway, some of those invited were not able to attend because the White House visit conflicted with scheduled competition. For instance, Penn State is competing at Arizona State on Friday, November 22. The University of Iowa will compete against Iowa State on Sunday, November 24. This affected invited athletes who are currently competing for their college wrestling team.

There has been a tradition of college national champion teams visiting The White House in years past.