Boise State's Chamberlain named Pac-12 Wrestler of the Year
By the Pac-12 Conference
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. — In a vote of the six Conference coaches, Boise State 149-pounder Jason Chamberlain has been unanimously named the 2013 Pac-12 Wrestler of the Year, CSUB 174-pounder Bryce Hammond and Cal Poly 165-pounder Devon Lotito have been voted co-Pac-12 Freshmen/Newcomers of the Year and Jim Zalesky of Oregon State is the Pac-12 Coach of the Year, Commissioner Larry Scott announced Friday.
PAC-12 WRESTLER OF THE YEAR
Chamberlain finished the season 26-1 and claimed his third Pac-12 title at 149 pounds. This is the third time a Boise State wrestler has received the award. He is one of eight wrestlers in Boise State history to finish in the top eight twice in the nation in his weight class. Chamberlain competed in four NCAA Championships throughout his career. The redshirt senior took second at the NCAA Wrestling Championships after dropping a 3-2 decision in the 149-pound final. The two-time All-American finished this season in the top two in winning percentage (.929) for the Broncos and outscored his opponents by 179 points.
CO-PAC-12 FRESHMEN/NEWCOMERS OF THE YEAR
Hammond claimed the 174-pound title at the Pac-12 Championships in February and went 1-2 at the NCAA Wrestling Championships to finish the season with a 34-10 record. This is the second time a CSUB wrestler has been awarded the Freshman/Newcomer of the Year honor. Hammond eventually fell in the second round of the consolation bracket in triple overtime. In his first Pac-12 Championship, Hammond, the No. 2 seed, went 3-0 and defeated the No. 1 seed, 9-4 in the finals.
Lotito finished his first year at Cal Poly with a 29-9 record and captured a Pac-12 Championship at 133 pounds. Lotito is the fourth wrestler from Cal Poly to receive the award. A true freshman, Lotito was the Mustangs' lone representative in the 2013 NCAA Wrestling Championship. He fell in the lone pigtail of the bracket by a 4-3 decision. Lotito placed first and earned the "Most Outstanding Wrestler" award at the Keystone Invitational in Philadelphia.
PAC-12 COACH OF THE YEAR
Zalesky guided the Beavers to their third Pac-12 title in four years and sent a Conference-high seven wrestlers to the NCAA Championships in March. This is Zalesky's third Pac-12 Coach of the Year honor, with his first coming in 2010. He is the fourth Oregon State coach to receive the honor, joining Dale Thomas (1976, 1977, 1983, 1984), Mark Johnson (1992) and Joe Wells (1994, 1995). Zalesky produced three Conference champions and, for a second time, three All-Americans this season. He also led the Beavers to an eighth-place finish at the NCAA Wrestling Championship, posting the program's highest finish since 1996.