College Wrestling Returns to Madison Square Garden on December 1; Cornell, Hofstra and Army in the Field

Press Release Courtesy of MSG Sports

New York, NY, June 20, 2013 — MSG Sports announced today that Army, Bloomsburg, Boston University, Cornell, Drexel, George Mason, Hofstra, Illinois, Maryland, Penn, Princeton and Rutgers will participate in the second annual Grapple at the Garden college wrestling event on Sunday, December 1 at The World’s Most Famous Arena.

Following the success of last year’s first-ever collegiate wrestling meet at Madison Square Garden, the second annual Grapple at the Garden has once again attracted a bevy of elite college wrestling programs. Six of the participating schools finished in the top 25 Final 2012-2013 Regular Season rankings, including Illinois at No.8; Cornell which tied at No. 9; Bloomsburg at No. 15; Penn at No. 21 along with Maryland and Rutgers, at No. 24 and 25, respectively.

“The success of last year’s first-ever college wrestling meet at Madison Square Garden proves that there is a strong appetite for college wrestling in the New York area,” said Joel Fisher, executive vice president, MSG Sports. “We are thrilled to once again host several of the country’s top wrestling programs in the second-annual Grapple at the Garden where college wrestling fans will see elite NCAA competition while experiencing the fully-transformed Madison Square Garden on Sunday, December 1.”

Cornell’s Kyle Dake, who made history this year when he became the first NCAA wrestler to win four NCAA titles in four different weight classes, shined at last year’s historic event. All eyes were on arguably the all-time greatest college wrestler when he opened with a 4-0 victory over Zach Toal of Missouri and followed with a 4-1 victory over No. 3 ranked Tyler Caldwell from Oklahoma State. Dake went on to receive the Bill Farrell Outstanding Wrestler Award.

“Wrestling in such an historic venue like the Garden was super exciting and a ton of fun,” said Dake. “It was one of my favorite venues I have wrestled at, and I hope we can get a major national tournament in Madison Square Garden in the future, especially one that I can compete in again!”

Grapple at the Garden will feature several standout wrestlers including Illinois’ Jesse Delgado, who won his first-ever NCAA Championship at 125 pounds this year. Delgado defeated No. 4 seed Nico Megaludis from Penn State 7-4 in the championship match to give the Illini their first national champion in that weight class. Additionally, Cornell’s Nahshon Garrett placed third in the same weight class at the 2013 NCAA Championships.

The full day of wrestling on December 1 will consist of two separate sessions with the first starting at 10:00 a.m. with Maryland vs. Cornell, Rutgers vs. George Mason, Illinois vs. Bloomsburg, Hofstra vs. Army, Boston U. vs. Penn and Drexel vs. Princeton. Session two is set to begin at 12:00 p.m. and will feature Cornell vs. Illinois, Rutgers vs. Maryland, Princeton vs. Army, Bloomsburg vs. Penn, George Mason vs. Drexel and Hofstra vs. Boston U.

Tickets will be available at a later date. To sign up for the exclusive Pre-Sale, please visit

Collegiate wrestling debuted at Madison Square Garden on December 16, 2012 with the inaugural Grapple at the Garden which featured 14 teams; 6 No. 1 ranked NCAA wrestlers; 5 returning National Champions and 6 of the top 10 teams in the country. You can now relive the historic event through INSIDE TRIP: GRAPPLE AT THE GARDEN. This special 30 minute DVD is now on sale via for $24.95, which includes an official event program from the live event. INSIDE TRIP is your exclusive all-access, behind-the-scenes pass to this historic first-ever event. See the big names that attended the event, hear from some of the greatest past and present wrestlers of all-time, and watch the greatest sport take place at The World’s Most Famous Arena with
INSIDE TRIP: GRAPPLE AT THE GARDEN. INSIDE TRIP: GRAPPLE AT THE GARDEN was produced by X-CEL Worldwide in association with MSG Sports.


Army Head Coach, Joe Heskett:
“Last year the Garden hosted one of the greatest collegiate events I have ever seen outside of the NCAA Championships. Our team is excited to compete and to win at MSG. This season’s Grapple at the Garden will be another outstanding day of collegiate wrestling in the world’s greatest city.”

Bloomsburg Interim Head Coach, Danny Song:
“After falling to then #7 Missouri in last year’s inaugural event, Bloomsburg is hungry to get back to the Garden. We look forward to competing with a very high-level opponent in Illinois, and also renewing our rivalry with Penn. The Garden is among the world’s most famous venues, and has proven to be ideal for an American wrestling showcase.”

Boston University Head Coach, Carl Adams:
“The Boston University wrestling team is looking forward to the competition at the Garden. We feel very fortunate to be able to face two very tough teams in Hofstra and Penn. Competing at the Garden amongst some of the elite wrestling programs in the country will be exciting, and it provides us an opportunity to showcase what the Boston University wrestling program is all about.”

Cornell Head Coach, Rob Koll:
“It was an incredible experience for our Cornell wrestlers to compete in the world’s most iconic arena in front of our NYC fans and alumni. The fans, wrestlers and I had a chance to be a part of history and for that, I am extremely grateful.”

Drexel Head Coach, Matt Azevedo:
“Drexel University Wrestling is thrilled to be a part of the Grapple at the Garden once again this year. We have a lot of alumni that live and work in the NYC area. This will be a great opportunity for them to see our student-athletes compete in ‘The World’s Most Famous Arena’ against two outstanding Universities in Princeton and George Mason.”

George Mason Head Coach, Joe Russell:
“We were able to participate in the Grapple at the Garden last year. To a man, everyone on the team spoke of the event as a highlight for their season. I am elated to have the team compete at the event again on December 1, 2013. We will come prepared to put on an exciting show for the Wrestling fans in New York City. Go Patriots.”

Hofstra Head Coach, Rob Anspach:

“Last year was a great event and we were honored that we were a part of the first Grapple at the Garden. The team was able to wrestle in front of 10,000 people which was amazing and something they will remember for the rest of their lives. We look forward to being a part of many future events at Madison Square Garden.”

University of Illinois Head Coach, Jim Heffernan:
“We are very fortunate to have the chance to participate in the Grapple at the Garden event. It will be a tremendous opportunity for our student-athletes to compete at Madison Square Garden, one of the greatest sport venues in the world. The environment and level of competition will certainly play a role in preparing us for the post season, and will be great exposure for our program. It is an honor for Illinois Wrestling to be chosen to showcase our great sport in New York City at this unique event.”

University of Illinois Associate Head Coach, Mark Perry:
“This event truly is something our athletes and coaching staff will remember for many years to come. It is an honor to come into the Garden, and put on a great show for all the wrestling fans.”

Maryland Head Coach, Kerry McCoy:
“I am very excited to return to the Grapple at the Garden. Last year’s event was so awesome; everyone connected with our program could not wait to get back. This year will be another exciting event and we look forward to participating again in what is quickly becoming one of our sports premiere marquee events. Special thanks to everyone who made it possible.”

Penn Head Coach, Rob Eiter:
“This event is a great opportunity for Penn and we are excited to participate in the Grapple at the Garden. Madison Square Garden is known as ‘The World’s Most Famous Arena’, and it will be an amazing experience for our team to be a part of this unique atmosphere. We have a very strong alumni base in New York City, and I know they will be excited to support Penn wrestling in a venue like MSG.”

Princeton Head Coach, Christopher Ayres:
“To be included in such a fabulous event in such a historic athletic venue is an exciting opportunity for our program and athletes. We look forward to competing against and alongside some of the best programs in the country as we showcase the greatest sport in world in the greatest city in the world!!!”

Rutgers Head Coach, Scott Goodale:
“Rutgers University is very excited to be back wrestling in the Garden! The inaugural Grapple at the Garden event was a great experience last year. Our student-athletes loved the competition, our fans enjoyed the atmosphere and the event was perfect. Wrestling at MSG!!”


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