2022 d3wrestle.com Wrestler of the Year
The final award for the 2022 season is the d3wrestle.com Wrestler of the Year. This year, the award goes to Bradan Birt of Millikin. Birt became the first NCAA wrestling champion in school history with his victory at 165 lbs. in March. He finished the 2021-2022 season with a record of 42-0 with 25 falls, 10 tech falls, 3 major decisions, 2 decisions, and 2 injury defaults. He won the Millikin Open, Pete Willson Wheaton Invitational, CCIW Championships, Lower Midwest Region, and NCAA Championship, all at 165 lbs. At the regional, he posted three falls and a tech fall on the way to the title. He then opened his NCAA tournament with three falls on Friday before tacking on a decision in the semifinals and a 14-2 major decision win in the finals to cap off his career. At the conclusion of the tournament, Birt was presented with the Most Dominant award for highest average team points per match against DIII competition as well as the Outstanding Wrestler award for the tournament.
Birt finished his career with a 159-13 record and ended on an 80 match winning streak. He was the champion and outstanding wrestler at the 2021 NWCA DIII tournament. He finished 6th in the 2019 NCAA Championships and 7th in 2018. Birt missed out on the 2020 NCAA tournament, where he was the #2 seed, due to the COVID-19 cancellation. He was a five-time CCIW Champion and three-time Outstanding Wrestler. He is the Millikin record holder for career wins and winning percentage.
Bradan Birt became a second-generation NCAA champion, as his father and Millikin head coach Ryan Birt won the 1999 NCAA DIII Championship for Upper Iowa. He is the 4th ever individual national champion in any sport for Millikin and the first Millikin wrestler to be named d3wrestle.com Wrestler of the Year.
Previous Wrestlers of the Year
2020 – Troy Stanich, Stevens
2019 – Darden Schurg, Wabash
2018 – Jordan Newman, Whitewater
2017 – Riley Lefever, Wabash
2016 – Riley Lefever, Wabash
2015 – Mike Fuenffinger, Augsburg
2014 – Nazar Kulchytskyy, Oshkosh
2013 – Nazar Kulchytskyy, Oshkosh
2012 – Byron Tate, Wartburg
2011 – Minga Batsukh, St. John’s
2010 – Clayton Rush, Coe