The Baldwin Wallace University wrestling program has been one best in the Ohio Athletic Conference, Mideast Region of Division III and all of NCAA Division III.
BW won the 2015-2016 OAC title, placed second at the Mideast Regional Tournament and both qualified three of its wrestlers to the 2016 Div. III National Tournament and had seven named to the National Wrestling Coaches Association Scholar All-America team.
Jamie Gibbs Took Over in 2011-2012:
The program entered a new era in 2011-2012 when current Head Coach Jamie Gibbs took over the program for another BW coaching legend, Rich Fleming, who retired after 23 seasons as head coach.
The Success of the Gibbs Era:
Since the day Gibbs stepped on the BW campus, the Yellow Jacket wrestling program has gotten better and better and better. Here are some of the success in the past three seasons.
In 2015-2016, Gibbs led his squad to a school-record number of dual match victories with 18, an 18-8 overall record, a perfect 5-0 record in OAC duals with the aforementioned OAC title, an all-time-best second place finish at the NCAA Division III Mideast Region Tournament and a 31st place showing at the 2016 NCAA Div. III National Tournament. BW finished 17th in the final NWCA Division III national poll. In addition, BW received a NWCA National Team Award for its fine 3.14 team grade point average, and a BW-record seven grapplers were named to the NWCA Scholar All-America team.
In 2014-2015, Gibbs led his Yellow Jackets to a then record 17 dual match wins, a 17-5 overall and 4-1 OAC record, a sixth place finish at the Mideast Regional and a 20th-place finish at the Div. III National Tournament. Gunter, Chase and then sophomore Josh Decatur '18 were Div. III national tourney qualifiers, and Gunter (fourth) and Chase (seventh) went on to earn All-America accolades. In addition, four student-athletes were named to the NWCA (National Wrestling Coaches Association) Scholar All-America Team. BW finished 20th in the final NWCA poll.
In 2013-2014, Gibbs and the Yellow Jacket program took a major step forward as it had an 8-3 dual match record, sent three wrestlers to the 2014 Div. III national tourney, including Gunter who placed third and earned Div. III All-American status. In addition, three Yellow Jackets, including Gunter, were named to the NWCA Scholar All-America Team. BW finished the season ranked 22nd in the final adidas-Brute/ NWCA Division III poll. It was BW's first Top-25 ranking since 2007
Two National Champs and Two Runners-up:
BW is extremely proud of its two NCAA Division III national champions in Paul Petrella in 1977 and Kevin Higgins in 1989 and its two runner-up finishers in 177-pounder Kelly Keenan in 1994 and 285-pounder Bryan Kmetz in 2007, and a third place finish from junior Jesse Gunter.
Recent History of Individual Success:
- Two NCAA National Champions
- Two NCAA Runners-Up
- 12 Division III All-Americans
- 18 OAC champions
- 23 OAC runner-ups
The Legendary John Summa Built BW into a Winner In Wrestling in the 1960s:
The BW program began its run to excellence in 1948 when the legendary John Summa was named coach. In his 32-year career, Summa compiled a school and OAC-record 201-140-1 mark, including six OAC titles and a 105-38-1 OAC record. During much of Summa's early career, BW was not a part of the OAC and the Yellow Jackets competed against schools such as Kent State University, the University of Akron, Toledo, Ashland and other current NCAA Division I and II programs.