When he was going through the recruiting process, two-time NCAA qualifier Stephen Dutton developed a strong relationship with Donny Pritzlaff, then an assistant coach at Wisconsin. He strongly considered becoming a Badger, but ultimately decided that he didn’t want to move so far from home and chose to attend Lehigh.
However, wrestling for Pritzlaff (now at Michigan) is a possibility again as the former Rocky Point High standout recently received a full release from the Mountain Hawks.
Dutton will visit Ann Arbor this weekend and then choose whether to continue his career for the Wolverines or at Hofstra.
A number of factors went into the decision to leave Lehigh, according to Dutton’s father, Steve.
“Stephen had a tough year,” Steve Dutton said of his son. “He lost his lightweight coach [Jason Kutz] and also another workout partner when Frank Cagnina left. [Cagnina will wrestle for Nebraska next year]. He spent a lot of last year hurt. He decided it was best to move on.”
In addition to the connection to Pritzlaff, Mr. Dutton said Michigan is appealing for some other reasons.
“Michigan might be a good spot for him,” he said. “He’s wrestled with [Wolverine assistant] Sean Bormet and he feels confident that with the coaches and workout partners there, he can reach all his goals. Hofstra is also a possibility, especially because it is so close to home.”
Dutton compiled a 42-21 record in his two years with the Mountain Hawks, taking fourth place in the EIWA as a freshman and third as a sophomore. He qualified for the NCAA tournament in both of his campaigns, making the Round of 12 in his rookie season.
Mr. Dutton said that his son will likely make his decision within the next week.