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TOM’s Campus Visit – George Mason

George Mason

Webster’s Dictionary defines the word “uncommon” as not ordinarily encountered. If you have seen any social media accounts from staff members of George Mason’s wrestling team, you’ll notice that all of their tweets include the phrase #BeUncommon. Head Coach Frank Beasley’s office is adorned with the team’s logo and the motto sitting directly below. The wrestling room has it written on the walls. Be Uncommon isn’t just a catchy social media gimmick for Beasley’s team, it’s a way of life. The phrase is a compass from which to guide team members not only through their wrestling careers but also in their studies, their social life and in their personal relationships. At the end of practice, Beasley felt like some of the team’s younger members needed a refresher on the team’s motto. All of the veterans shared their definition of Being Uncommon and what it means to them. Senior 285 lb NCAA Qualifier Matt Voss’ explanation is, “doing the right thing, even if everyone else hates your for it. Getting to bed on time, eating the right foods, doing the all small things that no one else wants to do, to be great, to do something that you don’t see very often. “ While each returning wrestler had a slightly different, personalized variation of what Being Uncommon means, it is evident that they have bought into the vision that Beasley and his coaching staff have presented.

As the practice winds down, Beasley can be overheard reminding his team about the recent success story of one of his former pupils at NC State, 2018 197 lb NCAA Champion Michael Macchiavello. “How many scholarship offers did Michael Macchiavello get,” Beasley yells. The answer, which he would provide is none. Not just at the DI level, DII and NAIA, as well. “He was a tough kid that worked his butt off” Beasley stated. You can see why Beasley brings this up to the current crop of Patriot wrestlers, none of which were blue-chip recruits coming out of high school. Even without a roster full of wrestlers that have high school All-American pedigrees, the entire GMU staff believes that they have multiple kids that will come out of the woodwork this year and surprise followers of the DI scene.

Beasley himself personifies the role of the underdog that outworked his competition and chose to Be Uncommon. After earning NJCAA All-American honors at Lincoln College, he finished his competitive career at Bloomsburg University where his highest finish was fourth in the EWL. Frank would go on to coach at his alma mater before moving to Buffalo, then Binghamton where he was on Pat Popolizio’s staff. In an assistant coaching scene dominated by wrestlers that were national champions and DI All-Americans, Beasley found a way to stand out by doing as Popolizio once said, “doing the things that everyone else won’t do. Within the rules, of course.” That work ethic earned him a place on Pat’s staff as he moved to NC State and they laid the foundation for a team that just finished fourth in the nation in 2018. Beasley had taken the head coaching position at George Mason before the 2017-18 season and inherited a program that was struggling, similarly to his first year at NC State. Volunteer Assistant Beau Donahue, one of Beasley’s recruits at NC State recalled his first year in Raleigh, with the team coming off a 63rd place finish at the 2013 NCAA Championships.  He sees the parallels between his Wolfpack program and what they are building at George Mason, “I think Mason is in a very similar spot, we just don’t have the history that they (NC State) did.”

During Beasley’s first season the Patriots qualified three wrestlers for the NCAA Championships, which was their highest mark in 17 seasons. Two of those wrestlers return (Tejon Anthony and Matt Voss), along with a pair of talented transfers, NCAA qualifier Alex Madrigal and Colston DiBlasi. Below are interviews with the Mason coaching staff and those four wrestlers.

Head Coach Frank Beasley

Assistant Coach Camden Eppert

Assistant Coach Mason Beckman Part 1

Assistant Coach Mason Beckman Part 2

Volunteer Assistant Beau Donahue

NCAA Qualifier Alex Madrigal

NCAA Qualifier Tejon Anthony

Colston DiBlasi

NCAA Qualifier Matt Voss

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