WHEELING - Wheeling Jesuit wrestling will welcome four-time National Champion Kyle Dake, arguably the greatest college wrestler to set foot on a mat, to Wheeling this summer as part of the Cardinals' first youth and high school wrestling camp, scheduled for June 22-26.
Dake made history in the 2012-13 season, his senior year at Cornell, when he became the first wrestler to win four NCAA titles in four different weight classes. He is also only the third wrestler to win four titles in any weight class.
One of wrestling's true shining stars, Dake is currently in training to take the international wrestling scene by storm and make the United States Olympic team, which is set to compete in the 2020 summer games in Tokyo, Japan.
Cardinals Sean Doyle says having Dake on campus brings a sense of credibility and legitimacy to his program as it gets set to compete in its first regional tournament.
"Having Kyle here in Wheeling says a lot about our program, where we're heading, and what wrestling means to this school," Doyle said. "I think we've done a really good job of showing people in our region that our program is established and moving in the right direction. Our roster size is good, our schedule is evolving, and our facilities are getting better. When we get someone like Kyle Dake to set foot on campus, it's lasting and impactful."
Dake will be on campus as part of the program's first camp, designed to bring his brand of wrestling passion and skill he displayed as a four-year All-American, to the youth of the Ohio Valley.
"Kyle is just a contagious personality," Doyle added. "He's smiling in every photo, he lives a perfect lifestyle, and he's a motivated young man. It's that contagious personality we'd like to let our guys experience as we grow the program."
During his four-time championship run, Dake won a title in the 141-pound weight class his freshman year, followed that up with a championship at 149 pounds, then became the first college wrestler to take a third title in three weight classes, capturing the title at 157. He was also the first Cornell wrestler to win three championships.
Dake re-wrote the history books his senior year when he took the challenge of bumping up to the 165-pound class, and defeated the returning champion David Taylor of Penn State in a 5-4 decision to take his fourth championship. The victory landed Dake as the lead story on ESPN's SportsCenter, and earned him the 2013 Sports Illustrated male College Athlete of the Year. He also won the 2013 Hodge trophy for the nation's best college wrestler.
Coach Doyle says one of the factors that will bring Dake to Wheeling the relationship he maintains through his alma matter, Cornell.
"Kyle wanted to be able to help support someone that was a Cornell graduate," Doyle said. "He's been generous with his busy summer schedule, which will consist of him trying to make the world team, to come down here and support our region and our program. We couldn't be more excited to have him."
Cornell Coach Rob Koll, who coached and mentored Doyle during his tenure as a Big Red wrestler, has also been instrumental in the development of the Cardinals wrestling program, and played a hand in getting Dake to WJU.
"Coach Koll has been extremely helpful, and been there to talk to on a weekly basis through this transition," Doyle said. "We couldn't have made this happen without his help, and we're very grateful."
The Wheeling Jesuit summer youth and high school camp will be held in the McDonough Center June 22-26.
In addition to Dake, Coach Doyle has assembled a world-class lineup of technicians to compliment Dake including:
The lineup is expected to grow as the camp nears.