Kilgore Named MAC Wrestler of the Year
Kent State’s Dustin Kilgore (Berea, Ohio) was named Mid-American Conference (MAC) Wrestler of the Year for the second time in his career on Tuesday as voted on by the conference’s eight head coaches. The only MAC wrestler to advance to the finals of this year’s NCAA Championships, Kilgore went 43-1 on the season with 33 bonus-point victories, including a program record 18 pins.
The prestigious Cliff Keen Invitational and the Midlands Championships were among the six tournament titles Kilgore won from November to March, capped off by the fourth MAC crown of his career. He was also named Most Outstanding Wrestler at the MAC Championships.
Two of Kilgore’s 11 major decisions of the year came at the NCAA Championships, where he became Kent State’s first three-time All-American. Facing the nation’s top competition throughout the year, he earned 21 victories against NCAA qualifiers and went 16-0 in dual meets.
Dating back to his 2011 national champion run, Kilgore put together a streak of 62 straight NCAA victories. He also won 65 straight dual meets, going 20-0 in career MAC duals.
Set to graduate this May, Kilgore leaves Kent State as the program’s career leader in both victories (178) and pins (50).
Behind Kilgore's efforts, the Golden Flashes finished 24th in the final team standings of the NCAA Championships. It was Kent State's fourth Top 25 finish in the last five seasons.
The Mid-American Conference also named Missouri’s Brian Smith its 2013 Coach of the Year on Tuesday and Ohio’s Cody Walters as Freshman of the Year. Kilgore’s first Wrestler of the Year honor came in 2011, becoming the sixth Kent State grappler to earn the award.