Photo: Sam Janicki

Simcoe honored as NCAA Division II Coach of the Year

The Open Mat presents awards annually in three categories for each division of college wrestling at the conclusion of the season. Awards are presented for Freshman of the Year, Coach of the Year and Wrestler of the Year.

Joey Simcoe has led Grand Valley State's resurgence in college wrestling.

On Thursday, Simcoe was honored as the 2024 NCAA Division II Coach of the Year by The Open Mat.

The Grand Valley State wrestling program returned this past season after a three-decade hiatus. Simcoe took over as the program's head wrestling coach after spending the previous 11 seasons leading the Tiffin University wrestling program.

It was a groundbreaking season for GVSU. Josh Kenny secured the national title at 174 pounds and Wyatt Miller earned All-America honors with an eighth-place finish at 197 pounds to help the Lakers finish 13th at the 2024 NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships.

Kenny, seeded No. 4, reached the national finals at 174 pounds with an overtime victory, a major decision and a technical fall in the semifinals. In the finals, Kenny pinned Central Oklahoma's Anthony Des Vigne in the second period, becoming GVSU's first national champion since 1988. He finished the season with a 32-5 record.

The unseeded Miller defeated multiple All-Americans to reach the podium at 197 pounds. He won his round of 12 match in overtime.

In addition, Chris Donathan (149) and Seth Konynenbelt (184) were national qualifiers for GVSU.

Simcoe guided Grand Valley State to a 13-7 dual meet record. The Lakers finished fourth at the NCAA Super Region 3.