NWCA announces Eugene, Ore., as site for 2007 All-Star Classic

DATE: 7/24/2007 4:20:00 PM
By Jason Bryant
Director of Media Relations
National Wrestling Coaches Association

The National Wrestling Coaches Association announced that the 2007 NWCA All-Star Classic will be held in Eugene, Ore., on Monday November 19.

Spearheading the effort in bringing the All-Star Classic to Eugene was former University of Oregon coach Ron Finley.

In the wake of school?s announcement to cut wrestling after the 2007-08 season, Finley and his group got approval from the school to host the event.

?We?re fighting to reverse the decision made by the University of Oregon and we feel showcasing how great the sport of wrestling is and showcasing the demand for wrestling at the University of Oregon,? said NWCA Executive Director Mike Moyer.

Last year, Dallas hosted the All-Star Classic, bringing another major college wrestling event to the Lone Star State.

?Wrestling in Oregon is very strong, it always has been,? said NWCA President Ron Mirkitani. ?We want to create a groundswell of support and continue the momentum. By having this event early in the season and hosting it at Oregon can show wrestling belongs at the school.?

The state has hosted the All-Star Classic three previous times ? the first in 1977 in Corvallis hosted by Oregon State. Corvallis was again the host in 1979. In 1990, Oregon and Oregon State co-hosted the event in Portland.

?We?ve held the event in Oregon before, but the importance of this event this year for the state itself is of the utmost importance,? said Moyer.

The NWCA has hosted the All-Star Classic in areas where wrestling has either been threatened, brought back or non-existent. In 2005, the re-instated program at SIU-Edwardsville hosted the event.

?Coach Ron Finley has been someone that?s regarded as a very hard worker,? said Mirkitani. ?If there?s someone that knows how to keep the Oregon program running, its him.?

In 2006, the school had two All-Americans, Shane Webster and Joey Bracamonte with Webster winning the NCAA championship at 184 pounds ? the second individual title in the program?s history.

?The Pacific Northwest and the entire West Coast needs wrestling, we need to do everything we can as a community and a sport to maintain programs to help build the next generation of teachers and coaches for the generations of wrestlers to follow,? said Moyer.

The University of Oregon has six wrestlers that have participated in the NWCA All-Star Classic: John Miller (1970), Kevin Kramer (1977), Scott Bliss (1980), Dan Vidlak (1991), Jeremy Ensrud (1998) and Scott Barker (2005).

The National Wrestling Coaches Association, established in 1928, is a professional organization dedicated to serve and provide leadership for the advancement of all levels of the sport of wrestling with primary emphasis on scholastic and collegiate programs. The membership embraces all people interested in amateur wrestling.

The NWCA, through its organizational structure, promotes communication, recognizes achievement, recommends rules and regulations, sponsors events, and serves as an educational and informational source. Additionally, the NWCA strives to foster the sportsmanship and integrity that are the cornerstones of athletic competition.