By Jamie Moffatt
Philadelphia, PA – The Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) Hall of Fame Committee is proud to announce that four new members have been chosen for induction into the EIWA Hall of Fame.
Members selected for the Class of 2014 include Kyle Dake, Jesse Jantzen, David Pottruck and Matt Valenti. The induction ceremony will take place on Sunday, March 9, 2014 at the Penn Palestra immediately preceding the finals of the annual EIWA tournament.
Committee Chairman Jamie Moffatt commented:
“The Committee is particularly proud of this outstanding class of new EIWA Hall of Fame members. Four-time NCAA champion Kyle Dake is recognized as the best wrestler in the 100+ year history of Cornell University’s wrestling program; the same holds true of Jesse Jantzen’s record at Harvard University and Matt Valenti’s accomplishments at the University of Pennsylvania. David Pottruck is well-known and admired for his most generous support of athletics, particularly wrestling, at Penn, this year’s EIWA tournament host school. We are very honored to include these men into our Hall of Fame.”
KYLE DAKE, CORNELL ‘13
According to USA Wrestling’s Gary Abbott, “Kyle Dake’s achievements competing for Cornell rank among the most important in college wrestling history.”
Last March in Des Moines, Dake became just the third wrestler in NCAA history to win four national championships – and the first wrestler ever to win them at four different weight classes. He was also the first to win four successive titles without taking a red-shirt year.
At Lansing (NY) High School, Dake was a multi-sport athlete and a six-time letter winner in wrestling. Coached by his father, Doug, he served four times as team captain, while becoming a two-time New York State Champion.
As part of last season’s drama in his quest for four consecutive NCAA titles, Dake helped create a rare NCAA finals match-up of former champions by moving up a weight class to defeat David Taylor of Penn State. A three-time EIWA champion with one second place finish, Dake compiled a 137-4 win-loss record for the Big Red and earned 83 bonus wins, 44 of them by fall.
At the conclusion of his senior season, besides winning the major wrestling awards including the NCAA Outstanding Wrestler and the Hodge Trophy, Dake received an ESPY award nomination, and was named Sports Illustrated’s Male College Athlete of the Year.
Following his collegiate career, Dake joined the volunteer coaching staff at Cornell. He has made a smooth transition to freestyle wrestling, getting his hand raised in his international debut at the Rumble on the Rails event in New York City in May by defeating his opponent from Iran. He followed up that performance while competing at the 2013 FILA Golden Grand Prix in November, highlighted by defeating a World bronze medalist from Belarus and a former World Champion from Russia.
JESSE JANTZEN, HARVARD ‘04
Jesse Jantzen became an accomplished wrestler at a very early age. He became the first-ever four-time state champion in the history of the New York State Championships. His career high school record for Shoreham Wading River on Long Island was 221-3, losing only while placing 3rd at States in both 7th and 8th grade. He was named ASICs National Most Outstanding Wrestler as a senior in 2000 and also won a national high school title the same year.
Competing for Harvard University, Jantzen won a 149-pound NCAA title in 2004 and earned the Outstanding Wrestler Award after winning his semis and finals bouts, by 11-4 and 9-3 margins. He became the Crimson’s second-ever national champion and first in 66 years. By then his renowned “Jantzen Ride” was familiar to rivals and fans alike, having placed 3rd nationally in both 2002 and 2003. Those thirds were Harvard’s highest in half a century and his win-loss record his final three seasons was a remarkable 114 wins vs. just six losses.
Jantzen polished off more hardware awards in the EIWA Championships, by earning three league titles, the Outstanding Wrestler and Sheridan Awards in 2002, and also the Fletcher Award for most career points at both the 2003 and 2004 Easterns. His only EIWA loss in four finals came vs. a NCAA runner-up. As a freshman, Jantzen was selected to the 2001 All-Rookie first-team by Amateur Wrestling News and followed that with third place finishes at the University Nationals Freestyle Tournament and the U.S. Open Freestyle Tournament.
Among post-graduate freestyle honors, Jantzen placed 2nd at the 2004 NYAC International Open, won the 2004 Henri DeGlane and the 2005 University World Games, placed 4th at the 2005 U.S. World Team Trials, and 3rd at the 2005 Schultz International Memorial.
DAVID POTTRUCK, U. OF PENNSYLVANIA ‘70
David Pottruck was a standout member of the Penn football and wrestling teams, serving as captain in both sports. In wrestling he placed 2nd in the EIWA at 190 pounds in 1969 and 4th in 1970, as the Quakers’ highest finisher both years. Pottruck graduated with honors from The Wharton School, earning a BS in 1970 and a Wharton MBA in 1971.
As a leader in the business world, Pottruck has been a director of Intel since 1998 and Chairman and CEO of Red Eagle Ventures, Inc., SF, CA, a private equity firm since 2005. Pottruck is also Co-Chairman of Hightower Advisors, a $15 Billion adviser-owned Wealth Management company. He has been an advisory board member of Diamond Technology and Management Consultants, Inc., a publically held consulting firm, since 2004. In 2004, Pottruck resigned from the Charles Schwab Corporation, after a 20-year career where he served as President, CEO, and board member.
He has been a board member of numerous companies and organizations, including United States Trust Company of NY, The Golf Network, McKesson HBOC Corporation, The NASDAQ Stock Market, Inc., the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team Foundation. He was named CEO of the Year by Morningstar and in 2000 co-authored a best-selling book, “Clicks and Mortar-Passion-Driven Growth in an Internet- Driven World.”
Pottruck has served as Senior Fellow in the Wharton School of Business Center for Leadership and Change Management since 2004 and teaches in Wharton’s MBA and Executive Education programs. He has held adjunct faculty positions at five universities. He serves as a Trustee of the University of Pennsylvania.
MATTHEW VALENTI, U OF PENNSYLVANIA ‘07
In 2006, Matt Valenti became the University of Pennsylvania’s third national champion in school history. The following year he joined Dick DiBattista as the Quakers’ only two-time NCAA champions. He was just the third EIWA two-time national champion of the prior two decades. In Valenti’s first two entries at Nationals, he reached the Round of 12 as a freshman, then earned 5th place the following year.
A three-time EIWA champion after placing 3rd as a freshman, Valenti was twice named EIWA Wrestler of the Year. As a senior, he was a unanimous selection as Ivy League Wrestler of the Year. Valenti is Penn’s all-time leader in wins with 137 and is co-owner of Penn records for wins in a season (36, achieved twice) and falls in a season (11).
Graduating from Kittatinny (NJ) high school in 2002, Valenti was a two-time New Jersey state champion, National High School runner-up, Junior National Freestyle Champion, Cadet National All-American and Second-team ASICS All-American.
Among post-graduate freestyle honors, Valenti won the bronze medal at 60 kg at the Pan-American Championships and also 3rd place for the LVAC at the 2009 U.S. National Open. He also placed 4th at a U.S. World Team Trials, in a weight class featuring five former or future World Team members.
Since graduating from Penn’s Wharton’s School, Valenti first served as an assistant coach at Columbia University, where he coached the Lions’ first EIWA champion since 1995. He’s been a member of Penn’s coaching staff since July, 2009.