2024 NCAA Championships Watch Party

Service Academies Have Record Year At NCAA Wrestling Championships

Service Academies Have Record Year At NCAA Wrestling Championships

All three military service academies had a place winner at the 2024 NCAA Championships, while Coast Guard crowned its first national champion.

Mar 25, 2024 by Kyle Klingman

The United States military service academies had a banner year at the NCAA Wrestling Championships, including the first national champion for Coast Guard.

Air Force, Army, and Navy had a place winner at the NCAA Division I Championships for the first time since 2003. Wyatt Hendrickson of Air Force (3rd at 285 pounds), Ben Pasiuk of Army (8th at 174 pounds), and David Key of Navy (8th at 184 pounds) reached the podium of this year’s national tournament.

Chase Randall of Coast Guard won an NCAA Division III Championship at 133 pounds and was named Oustanding Wrestler. Two of Randall’s teammates, Coy Spooner (6th at 197) and Carl DiGiorgio (3rd at 285), also placed. 

Air Force Coach Sam Barber On Service Academies At The 2024 NCAA Championships

"Having all three Division I service academies place athletes on the podium in Kansas City hopefully shines the spotlight on what Kevin (Ward), Cary (Kolat), and myself already know about what is possible at a Federal Service Academy if you are committed to pursuing excellence on and off the mat.

"All three Academies have the resources, training partners, and world-class coaches to enhance your growth and development in pursuit of NCAA National Titles, All-American Honors, World Teams, and World Medals. Wyatt, Ben, and David proved that to be true this weekend. I have watched all three athletes improve each year on the mat and as leaders on their teams and within the respective Academies.

"Further, it does not take any more time and effort to compete and win at the highest level at a Service Academy. We have the same 20 hours a week that every other program has. Our athletes have big goals and high inner motivation; the three All-Americans this past weekend got there through their willpower, determination, and hard work. As coaching staff and programs, we impacted the results and supported their efforts by ensuring they had every recourse necessary.  We spend our time growing and developing our athletes, and they beat a lot of big-board recruits

"Finally, I never promise any recruit a result or an achievement on the mat. That is up to them as they utilize and maximize the resources we make available to them. What I do promise them is a world-class education, the opportunity to be part of something bigger than themselves, a challenging but fulfilling college experience that will be paid for in a full-ride scholarship, plus a monthly paycheck; upon graduation, you have a guaranteed job making an excellent wage and life long relationships with your brothers in arms that will last your lifetime.

"Wyatt, Ben, and David put in the work on and off the mat. In two months, when they graduate and are commissioned as officers in the profession of arms, they will have accomplished more in four years than some people will achieve in a lifetime as leaders, students, warriors, and athletes. And for them, this is just a stepping stone to more significant and more impactful future milestone."

2003 NCAA Championships

Service AcademyNamePlaceWeight
Air ForceKevin Hoy2nd285
ArmyPhillip Simpson3rd141
NavyFrank Edwards7th165

2024 NCAA Championships

Service AcademyNamePlaceWeight
Air ForceWyatt Hendrickson3rd285
ArmyBen Pasiuk8th174
NavyDavid Key8th184