It has been awhile since I last wrote, but that does not mean that nothing has been going on in the world of Big Red wrestling. We had to replace two assistant coaches as Cory Cooperman and Travis Lee have moved on. Cory accepted a coaching position closer to home at Rutgers, while Travis has decided to move to California to pursue a career in the biotechnology field. Cory has been a wonderful member of our Cornell wrestling family over the past three years, and he will undoubtedly make a significant impact with the Scarlet Knights.
Travis was the “face” of Big Red wrestling during his wrestling career. He set an incredibly high precedent for excellence for all current and future Cornell wrestlers. It was a pleasure to have him serve as a coach for the past three years, and I will always be thankful for his time on campus.
Although we are sad to lose these two great coaches, we are equally excited to announce their replacements. We are fortunate to be able to bring in two out- standing young coaches in Jeremy Spates and Matt Azevedo to replace them.
Jeremy Spates will join the Cornell wrestling sta” as an assistant coach, after serving as an assistant coach at Oklahoma the past five seasons.
I tried to get Jeremy to join our staff a few years ago, but the timing was not right. I am very glad to have him back in New York. Jeremy will bring a unique perspective to our staff, having wrestled and coached in the Big 12.
A three-time NCAA qualifier, Jeremy finished his wrestling career at Missouri with a 106-38 record and was only the 10th Tiger in MU history to reach 100 wins. Jeremy rounded out his senior campaign by placing fifth at the NCAA tournament to earn All-America honors. The first Missouri three-time captain, he was invited to compete at the 2004 National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Star Classic, where he defeated Cornell All-American Dustin Manotti. Jeremy is the son of Jack Spates, who coached the Big Red from 1988-93.
Matt comes to East Hill after spending seven seasons at Cal Poly as an assistant coach, after a collegiate career with both Iowa State and Arizona State. He is a three-time NCAA qualifier and is the nephew of Cal Poly head coach John Azevedo.
Matt has continued his wrestling career while coaching at Cal Poly. Most recently, he won the 2008 U.S. Open National Championship and was selected Most Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament. The Las Vegas native took second at the U.S. Freestyle World Team Trials in the summer of 2007. Matt also brought home a bronze medal from the Alexander Medved International in October of 2007.
He finished second in the U.S. Freestyle Nationals in 2005 and 2006. Also in 2006, Matt finished third at the World Team Trials.
He joined the Cal Poly coaching staff in 2002 while the Mustangs were under the direction of longtime head coach, Lennis Cowell. Matt is an instructor at the Hitchcock/Azevedo wrestling camp over the summer, where he helps develop young wrestlers in high school or below.
2009-10 Tentative Schedule
|11/21||Body Bar Systems Invitational
(Binghamton, Cornell, Drexel, Clarion, Ithaca,
Sacred Heart, Army, Kent State, Buffalo,
Bloomsburg, Columbia, Maryland, Wyoming)
|12/5-6||@ Las Vegas, NV (Fri, Sat)|
|12/29-30||@ Southern Scuffle, Greensboro, NC (Mon, Tue)|
|1/9-10||@ National Duals, Cedar Falls, IA (Sat, Sun)|
|1/23-24||New York State Intercollegiates|
|2/6||Columbia and Hofstra|
|2/13||@ Penn and Princeton|
|2/20||Harvard/Binghamton (if OK State backs out)|
|3/6-7||@ EIWA Championships (Sat. & Sun.)|
|3/18-20||@ NCAA Championships, Omaha, NE (Thur-Sat.)|
I am also thrilled announce that Jordan Leen will be staying in Ithaca. Jordan has accepted a position as a club coach with the Finger Lakes Wrestling Club. He has also committed to volunteering as a Director of Wrestling Operations for Cornell wrestling. In addition to helping Cornell and working with the FLWC, Jordan will be taking this year to prepare for his MCAT’s. Jordan will make a great coach or physician. Although I believe Jordan will ultimately gravitate towards the medical field he has expressed a desire to put his medical aspirations on hold to see if he enjoys wrestling as much as a coach as he did as a competitor. Regardless which direction he chooses, we are all ecstatic to have him around for another year!
Cornell placed 10th in the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) annual Division I All-Academic Top 30 Teams. Jordan Leen and Justin Kerber were named to the individual All-Academic team for the second year with 3.29 and 3.76 GPAs, respectively.
|Rank||School Name||Team GPA|
|6||Utah Valley University||3.1623|
National Hall of Fame
On June 6, Arno Niemand ’56 was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum in Stillwater, Okla. He was presented with the Order of Merit Award, an award presented to the individual who has made significant advancement of wrestling, other than success as an athlete or coach. The annual award is voted on by the Distinguished Members of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum.