Walsh, Taylor earn EWL Major Awards
LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ - Rider University two-time All-American redshirt junior wrestler Chad Walsh (Cherry Hill, NJ/Camden Catholic) has been selected Eastern Wrestling League Wrestler of the Year and Head Coach Gary Taylor has been picked EWL Coach of the Year, the league has announced. Walsh takes the award for the second-straight year, while Taylor earned his ninth career Coach of the Year award.
Walsh posted a 33-4 record this season, winning the EWL Championship at 165 and finishing seventh at NCAA’s. His only four losses on the season came to wrestlers who finished in the top five at NCAA’s – 2017 National Champion Vincenzo Joseph (Penn St.), 2015 and 2016 National Champion Isaiah Martinez (Illinois), 2016 National Runner-Up Isaac Jordan (Wisconsin) and 2017 fifth-place finisher Chandler Rogers (Oklahoma State) on the controversial overturning of a takedown that would’ve given Walsh the victory in the medal rounds at NCAA’s. Walsh won eight matches over the Top 20 wrestlers according to FloWrestling.com, including No. 9 Brandon Womack (Cornell), three victories over No. 11 Austin Matthews (Edinboro), No. 13 Drew Hughes (Michigan State), No. 17 Dylan Cottrell (West Virginia) and No. 20 Lorenzo De La Riva (CSU Bakersfield).
“Chad is a very special kid in a lot of ways,” said Taylor. “Chad just keeps getting better each year. His confidence just keeps growing and his work ethic is second to none. His production on the mat is second to none. That’s why he’s had the success that he has. He’s good for wrestling and a lot of fun to watch because he brings it for the entire time.”
Taylor capped an illustrious 39-year career by coaching a pair of wrestlers to All-America honors in Walsh and Ryan Wolfe (New Castle, DE/Caravel Academy). It marked the 16th and 17th times in Taylor’s career that he’d mentored a wrestler to All-American status, including six in the last 11 years. On the strength of 13 victories this season, Taylor passed former Minnesota Head Coach J Robinson for third all-time at Division I with 442 career dual wins. The Broncs finished 21st at NCAA’s, with four of Taylor’s wrestlers advancing to the tournament, bringing his career total to 173 NCAA Qualifiers.
“It’s certainly a great honor,” said Taylor. The EWL has a very strong tradition and to end up Coach of the Year in the EWL is an honor that I greatly appreciate.”
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