photo courtesy of Laken Detweiler
The Tiffin Dragons entered the 2019-20 NCAA Division II National Championships with five national qualifiers: one a true freshman, one the top seed in his bracket, a wrestler making a return to the NCAA meet, another who led the nation in pins, and another looking to defend a national title. The program, now in its 10th year in NCAA Division II, is currently led by former Findlay All-American Joey Simcoe.
“Guiding this program for the last 9 seasons has been an incredible experience,” Simcoe said. “When we first started, our practice facility was the storage area of an old Big Lots, and today we have arguably one of the nicest stand-alone facilities in the country with a 6,000 square foot wrestling room. Our success is not all our own as this campus and community are truly a welcoming, supportive and family environment.”
Tiffin has produced two National Champions among 14 total All-Americans in the last decade, with Garrett Gray winning the Dragons’ first title in 2017 at 285, and Nick Mason making it to the top of the podium at 197 in 2019 as a sophomore. Mason will return for his senior season next year, along with 2020 National Qualifiers Chris Donathan and Bryan LaVearn, while the nation’s top seed at 157, Trey Grine, and the NCAA DII leader in pins, Hayden Bronne, are lost to graduation.
In all, six starters will return for the Dragons next season in search of the program’s first team placement. Simcoe will bring in 10 newcomers next season, bringing his total roster to around 40.