Upgrades For Cary Kolat And The Upstart Campbell Camels

Big investments in the Campbell University wrestling program are being made following the team's historic results at this year's NCAA tournament.

A week ago, coach Cary Kolat and the Fighting Camels brought five NCAA qualifiers from Buies Creek, North Carolina, to St. Louis, the most in school history. More impressively, 125-pound senior Nathan Kraisser placed eighth, becoming the first All-American in program history.

These incredible results did not go unnoticed by Campbell athletic director Bob Roller and the rest of the school administration. After the tournament, Kolat tweeted the following:

The facility upgrades are still in the architectural planning phase, but as of now, the plans call for an expanded three-mat practice space, new locker rooms, coaches offices, cardio space, and a wrestlers' lounge.

The extra coaches offices will be needed as the program expands it's staff to the maximum allowed by NCAA rules. Expected construction time for the improvements is about 18 months.

Kolat says support for the project from Roller, Campbell University President J. Bradley Creed, and the rest of the administration has been phenomenal, "They're all in at this point. "

When reached for comment, Roller expanded on his enthusiasm for the progress Kolat has made on campus.

Cary is a tremendous coach, motivator, teacher and leader," Roller said. "He and his excellent staff has quickly formed a wrestling team that is formidable on the national stage.  We are keenly aware of how he has single-handedly put Campbell wrestling on the map and introduced Campbell University to a new and large segment of the national wrestling world.  We are happy to have him as our head coach as we continue to grow our brand!
The program has exploded in the three short years that Kolat has been at the helm. Kolat says he starts the year with about 50 student-athletes before whittling the roster down to the upper 30s by year's end. This is in contrast to the 2014-15 season, Kolat's first, when the Camels routinely forfeited five weight classes in dual meets. 

One thing that Kolat thinks could help smaller programs compete in dual meets is a change to the NCAA redshirting rules. Kolat recently tweeted the following in regard to that issue:

Kolat's tweet has received a largely positive response from the wrestling community, especially from NCAA coaches with limits to the size of their rosters. With the growing importance of dual meets and the pressure coaches are under to put their best teams on the mat, greater redshirt flexibility would allow teams to utilize their best wrestlers when they are needed, both during the regular season and postseason. 

Kolat sees the justification for the current redshirt policy as outdated. While theoretically instituted to allow students to adjust to the demands of collegiate schoolwork, in reality, Kolat says that varsity participation actually encourages a more rigorous adherence to the academic schedule.

Redshirts might sit there and XBox from Friday to Sunday and then start working on their paper," he said. "My starters have to leave on Thursday. They don't have time to procrastinate; they need to get that done.
Wrestling is also unique among the NCAA's slate of sponsored sports. Most are team sports, and few have the natural limitations with regards to substitutions from the bench. An outfielder can sub in for a catcher, and a third basemen can pitch for an inning or two if need be. No backup heavyweight is going to fill in for an injured lower weight, no matter what the rules say. 

The one-size-fits-all approach to NCAA rules is another issue Kolat believes is unnecessarily hindering the sport. There is no reason, Kolat says, that there can't be wrestling-specific exceptions in the rule book. 

Whether or not a change of this nature ever comes to fruition, Kolat will be preparing his team and raising the bar. The Camels won their first-ever Southern Conference title this year, and the addition to the trophy case has piqued interests across campus.

We're a small school but we're not small in terms of our wrestling program," Kolat said. "I want us to stand out at this school and have my guys get the attention and get them fired up. We're here to compete, and people recognize that from the administration down.
Kolat's vision goes beyond his lofty team aspirations, such as All-Americans and top 20 team finishes; he also intends to give the Campbell student body a successful team to follow and to market the program to as wide an audience as possible.

"We have an arena that's a $45 million dollar complex that seats 3,000 people, which is the perfect venue for wrestling, and I don't believe it's ever been filled up by any of our sports," Kolat said. "I want to fill it up next year."

Pennsylvania Dominated Super 32

The 20th edition of Super 32 is in the books. Full brackets, reusults and more can be found on FloArena. What you can't find on FloArena, but will be revealed in this article, is how each state did at Super 32 in both the men's and women's high school divisions. We will even throw in a couple of heat maps, which are everyone's favorite kind of map.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

FRL 415: The Impact Of Kyle Snyder's Move To Penn State

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Episode 415 of FRL goes over Kyle Snyder's move to the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club and continues our countdown of the Top-20 teams by going over the rosters of Virginia Tech, Northwestern, and Princeton.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

The Most Anticipated Super 32 Quarterfinal Bouts

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

The Super 32 quarterfinals start early Sunday morning. Here are the 11 bouts we're telling you that you'll regret missing.

Day 1 Upset Alerts

Reading the entry list is one thing. Looking through the brackets is another. With over half the nation's 240 ranked wrestlers, the path to a Super 32 belt is as difficult as ever. But the depth doesn't end with just the ranked. Those on the bubble are knocking off guys left and right. Here we'll list all the ranked wrestlers who fell to unranked foes. 

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Register For Monster Match Nationals

In July we announced our newest partnership with RMN Events and the partnership has kicked off in spectacular fashion with the D-Day On The Midway and the Cosmic Clash so far. Now, we set our sights on another event that is like no other in the wrestling world...Monster Match Nationals.

The Complete And Total Super 32 Preview

null

Everyone knows Super 32 is one of the toughest high school tournaments in the country. (I'd posit that it's the most difficult open folkstyle tournament in the world.)

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

2019 Super 32 Women's Preview

This Sunday, 200 female athletes from across the country will converge in Greensboro, North Carolina for Super 32. This will be the third year that Super 32 has featured a women’s division. It has grown exponentially both in numbers and talent level, and this year will be no exception. Unlike the men’s tournament, the women wrestle freestyle at Super 32. There is a lot of momentum behind freestyle-focused training at the high school level for women right now, and Super 32 getting behind this movement is awesome for the sport. 

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

FloSports Partners With GroWrestling

GroWrestling is excited to announce a streaming partnership with FloSports that will include live coverage of six of the eight 2019-2020 events.  With a headquarters in Kansas City Missouri, GroWrestling is focused on hosting competitive events for all levels that provide an experience that wrestling deserves.  Several of the events will take place at the recently renovated HY VEE arena.  Home of the 2003 NCAA Championships.  

The 2019 Super 32 Division I College Fan Guide

As the premier folkstyle event in the country for high schoolers, Super 32 is a great place for wrestlers to make their name for college coaches. But it also becomes a great opportunity for fans of Division I programs to familiarize themselves with their team's future recruits before the college season gets into full swing.

World Championships: Seed Analysis

Seed analysis for the NCAA championships is a clean, easy process that I feel speaks volumes about the competitors' performance compared to expectations going into the championships. I knew that wouldn’t be the case when I embarked on this analysis for the World Championships. 

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In