Wolfpack Wrestling Camps
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27606
This camp will give wrestlers and coaches an opportunity to gain valuable insight on what it takes to be successful at the highest levels of wrestling in high school and college from clinicians who have lived it! Get world class wrestling technique and numerous competitive matches every day. The team competition camp is designed for dual meets between teams of twelve. Technique sessions will teach you how to drill and execute high level techniques and competitive sessions will help your team learn to physically and mentally prepare for competition. Camp staff will evaluate your team every session to help make your teams weakness its strength.
About Our Coaches
The 2018-19 wrestling season marks Pat Popolizio’s seventh at the helm of the NC State wrestling program, as he was named head wrestling coach of the Wolfpack on April 10, 2012.
Popolizio was named the 2018 Dan Gable co-NCAA Coach of the Year and 2018 ACC Coach of the Year, and was also named the 2016 National Coach of the Year by FloWrestling. Over the last five seasons, NC State has had three national champions and four of the last five ACC Wrestlers of the Year were members of the Wolfpack.
In the Spring of 2018, Popolizio was awarded a contract extension through June of 2025.
He has led NC State to five straight top-20 finishes at the NCAA Championships, tied for most top-20 finishes in a row in school history (1980-84). Over the last five seasons, NC State has finished 19th in 2014, 16th in 2015, 11th in 2016, 17th in 2017, and 4th in 2018.
NC State has earned 11 All-America honors in the last five years, a new school record for most in a five-year span all-time. In 2018, NC State set a school-best with four All-Americans, including an ACC-best two NCAA finalists.
In his six seasons overall, Popolizio has had 40 NCAA qualifiers, highlighted by a school record 10 in 2017. In the last three seasons, NC State has qualified 27 of its 30 starters.
With seven seeded wrestlers at the 2018 NCAA Championships (including a program-best five earning top-five seeds), five in 2017 and six in 2016, the 18 seeded over the last three years are the most for NC State in a three-year span in school history. In fact, NC State had a combined 18 seeded wrestlers total the previous 25 years – 1991-2015.
With a final dual record of 15-2 for the 2017-18 season, the Wolfpack finished ranked No. 6 nationally in the final NWCA/USA Today Coaches’ Poll and finished in the top-10 nationally for the third straight season. The Pack was a school-best No. 2 following a 23-1 campaign in 2015-16, and No. 8 in 2016-17 with a 13-2 mark.
In all 15 Coaches’ Polls during the 2018 season, the Wolfpack was ranked in the top-10, and has been ranked in the top-10 for 40 straight polls. NC State has won 50 of its 55 duals the last three seasons, ranking behind only Penn State for the best dual winning percentage nationally.
On the recruiting trial, NC State’s 2016 12-person signing class was ranked the nation’s best by both FloWrestling.com and InterMatWrestling.com. In that class, the Pack signed two of the top-six ranked wrestlers in the 2016 recruiting class, and five in the top-66 overall.
NC State’s 2018 class was ranked No. 3 nationally and featured five wrestlers ranked in the top-100 nationally by InterMat, including four in the top-55, and two in the top-25. The class was also No. 6 by both FloWrestling and TheOpenMat.
Following his first campaign, Popolizio and his staff signed a top-rated recruiting class in the spring of 2013. The Pack’s signees were ranked: No. 4 according to D1collegewrestling, No. 10 by both WIN Magazine and InterMat, No. 13 by the Open Mat/AWN and No. 14 by Flo Wrestling.
NC State made it two-for-two with another nationally ranked recruiting class in 2014, cited No. 19 by FloWrestling, No. 20 by TheOpenMat.com, and No. 25 by InterMat.
In the classroom, NC State had its first-ever ACC Wrestling Scholar-Athlete of the Years, as Nick Gwiazdowski won the award in 2016 and Michael Macchiavello in 2018. The Pack has also had 17 Academic All-America selections, including a school record five in 2018, and 18 placed on the All-ACC Academic Team over the last five years.
In May of 2018, Popolizio served as the head coach for the USA at the Cadet Pan American Championships in Guatemala City, Guatemala. The U.S. dominated, winning the team title with 9 of the 10 wrestlers winning Gold.
In 2017-18, NC State brought home its first-ever team trophy, as the Wolfpack finished a school and ACC-best fourth at the 2018 NCAA Championships. R-Sr. Michael Macchiavello won a national title at 197 pounds, and R-Fr. Hayden Hidlay placed second at 157 pounds. NC State became the first ACC school with two NCAA Finalists. The Wolfpack also had a school record four All-Americans with R-Fr. Tariq Wilson placing third and Sr. Kevin Jack taking sixth.
The Pack went 15-2 in duals, and finished sixth in the final NWCA/USA Today Coaches’ Poll. For the second straight season, NC State took second at the ACC Championships, with three individual champions and five in the finals.
NC State went a perfect 5-0 in ACC duals, marking the Pack’s first ACC regular season title since 2004 and the first undefeated conference season since 2000.
NC State led the ACC and ranked 12th nationally in attendance with over 1,800 fans per dual, including over 3,900 fans versus Ohio State – both marks are school records.
Following the season, Popolizio was named ACC Coach of the Year and Macchiavello was named ACC Wrestler of the Year.
In 2016-17, NC State finished eighth in the final NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll after a 13-2 mark in duals, placed second at the ACC Championship with five reaching the finals, and took 17th at the NCAA Championships behind two-time All-American Kevin Jack and 10 NCAA Qualifiers.
The Pack defeated #16 Michigan, 23-15, in the NWCA National Duals, becoming one of only three schools to win their matchups each of the first two years in the event.
The 2015-16 season will go down as one of the best in school history. NC State won the 2016 ACC Championship, the first at NC State since 2007. Four individuals were crowned conference champions, and six made it to the finals overall.
Following the conference title, the Pack had eight NCAA Qualifiers, including six seeded grapplers and for the first time ever; four were seeded fifth or better. As a team, NC State finished in 11th place at the NCAA Championships, the best finish since a school-best seventh in 1993. The Pack tied the school record with three All-Americans in 2016: Tommy Gantt (5th - 157), Pete Renda (3rd - 184) and Nick Gwiazdowski (2nd - 285).
NC State finished the regular season ranked #2 in the final NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll, the highest ranking in school history. The Pack went 23-1 in dual matches, setting a new single season school record for most wins. NC State also set a new school record with 21 consecutive wins to start the 2016 season, as the previous best was nine. Included in the dual wins were road victories at national powers Oklahoma State and Iowa - making NC State the first school ever to win at both in the same season.
Following his fourth season at NC State, Popolizio was named the 2016 National Coach of the Year by FloWrestling.
Redshirt-senior Nick Gwiazdowski was named the 2016 ACC Wrestler of the Year, the third consecutive season he has won the conference’s top award. He is only the second wrestler in ACC history to be named Wrestler of the Year three straight times. During his three-year career at NC State, Gwiazdowski won two NCAA titles (2014, 2015) and finished runner-up in 2016, in addition to winning three straight ACC heavyweight titles and finishing his NC State career a perfect 55-0 in duals.
In 2015, the Pack placed 16th at the NCAA Championships. NC State had a pair of All-Americans for the first season since 1993, as Gwiazdowski repeated as NCAA Champion at 285 pounds and became the first wrestler in school history to win multiple NCAA titles, and only the third ACC wrestler all-time to do so, and the first since 1995. He finished the season undefeated, going a perfect 35-0. Freshman Kevin Jack went from unseeded to a fifth place finish at 141 pounds. Gwiazdowski repeated as ACC Wrestler of the Year, while Jack was named the ACC Freshman of the Year.
NC State finished 2015 with a dual record of 16-6, with all but one of the losses coming to top-10 teams at the time of the dual. The 16 wins are the fourth-most in a single season at NC State. The Pack finished the regular season ranked 17th nationally in the final USA Today/NWCA Coaches Poll. NC State was also ranked #14 by InterMat.com and #18 by FloWreslting.com in their final regular season polls.
In just his second season in 2014, Popolizio added to the Pack’s storied tradition with NC State’s sixth individual national champion. Gwiazdowski became NC State’s third heavyweight to win the NCAA title. Gwiazdowski, who finished the year with a 42-2 record, won the ACC heavyweight title and then plowed through the NCAA field, winning five straight matches and defeating the No. 1 seed in the tournament, two-time NCAA champion Minnesota’s Tony Nelson, to win the title. He became the first ACC wrestler to win a national championship since the Wolfpack’s Darrion Caldwell in 2009. He was named the ACC Wrestler of the Year.
In all, five NC State wrestlers qualified for the 2014 NCAA Championships, combining for a 10-8 record. Three wrestlers, Gwiazdowski, Gantt and Sam Speno, each won at least two matches. As a team, the Pack finished 19th overall, the second highest finish among all ACC schools.
In his initial season as head coach for the Pack, NC State had three wrestlers qualify for the 2013 NCAA Championships, placing 63rd overall.
“Pat is a builder of programs and of young men,” said NC State AD Debbie Yow at the time of his hire. “He was an outstanding collegiate performer at Oklahoma State and is a proven teacher and mentor as a head coach. He will lead Wolfpack Wrestling to compete for ACC titles and, eventually, the national championship.”
Prior to coming to NC State, in six seasons at Binghamton University (2007-12), Popolizio transformed the Bearcats into a national contender after inheriting the program that went 0-12 following its reinstatement in 2005-06. Among his highlights with the Bearcats:
• 14th at the 2012 NCAA Championships
• 21st at the 2010 NCAA Championships
• 2010 CAA Champions
• Two-time CAA coach of the year (2012 and 2010)
• Candidate for national coach of the year in 2010
• Four All-Americans and 21 NCAA qualifiers over six seasons
• CAA Wrestler of the Year and CAA Rookie of the Year in both 2012 and 2010
• 15-4 dual meet mark in 2011-12 was a school record .789 winning percentage
• School record 16 wins in 2010-11
Binghamton’s meteoric rise on the mat has been mirrored in the classroom. Popolizio substantially improved the program’s Academic Performance Rate (APR) from 727 to 957 between 2006 and 2011. In his final season, the Bearcats earned individual 2012 National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) All-Academic honors and boasted 10 CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award honorees. In 2009, Popolizio’s team ranked 17th in the country academically. BU wrestlers also placed a high priority on community service, recently helping residents at emergency shelters and in their neighborhoods after historic flooding hit the area.
Prior to his stint at Binghamton, Popolizio was the lead assistant and recruiter at American University for two seasons, helping that program finish 17th in the country. At American, he coached seven NCAA qualifiers and the school’s first All-American. Prior to that, he served as an assistant coach at Army (2003-04) and Sacred Heart (2002-03). His team at Sacred Heart achieved the highest grade-point average of any wrestling program in the country.
Prior to entering the coaching ranks, Popolizio was a decorated wrestler during his student-athlete career for Oklahoma State coach John Smith, a six-time world champion. Among his highlights during his collegiate career:
• Three-time NCAA qualifier
• Won greater than 90 matches
• Ranked No. 1 in the country at 184 pounds during senior year
• Helped lead Oklahoma State to Top 5 national finishes (second, third, third and fifth) at NCAA Championships in each of his four seasons in Stillwater
• Big 12 runner-up in 1998 and 2002
• Fifth at the World Team Trials in 2003
• 2002 Oklahoma State Hustle Award
Popolizio graduated in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education. He was a two-time Big 12 All Academic selection and five-time recipient of the Oklahoma State Student-Athlete Award.
At the prep level, Popolizio was a New York state scholastic champion for Niskayuna High. He was named Most Outstanding Wrestler at the 1996 state prep meet, where he captured the 177-pound title, and went on to become the national high school runner-up.
Team Camp (Individuals Welcome)
Intensive Camp (7th-12th Grade)
Youth Camp (6th grade and under)