BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Campbell head coach Cary Kolat has been named one of eight finalists for National Wrestling Coaches Association Coach of the Year.
Kolat, in his fifth season at the helm for the Camels, is coming off his second Southern Conference Championships title in three seasons, also taking SoCon Coach of the Year accolades following the program's tournament win in Boone, N.C. on March 10.
Eight Camels earned spots on the podium at the SoCon Championships, with all 10 wrestling for medals.
125 pounder Korbin Meink, Josh Heil at 149, Benjamin Barton at 157 and 184 pounder Chris Kober all earned individual championships. Taking runner-up were Noah Gonser at 133 pounds, Andrew Morgan at 174 and heavyweight Odgerel Batkhishig. Nathan Boston also claimed third at 141 pounds.
Austin McNeill also earned the SoCon Pinnacle Award, given to the student-athlete with the highest GPA on the championship winning team.
After the SoCon tourney showing, Campbell will send a school record six to the NCAA Championships later this week.
Campbell also claimed its first ever regular season conference championship in 2019, taking a share of the SoCon dual title with a 5-1 league mark to go along with a 7-1 overall dual record, both program bests.
Gonser and Heil were also named All-SoCon following unbeaten conference regular season ledgers.
During the season, Kolat also coached CU to its first ever top-25 national ranking, and led the Camels to a 10th place finish at the prestigious Midlands Championships, an all-time best for the program.
Kolat is joined by Pat Popolizio (NC State), Cael Sanderson (Penn State), Kevin Dresser (Iowa State), Scott Moore (Lock Haven), (Army West Point), John Stutzman (Buffalo) and Jason Borrelli (Stanford).
The national winner will be announced at the NWCA Coaches Social on Tuesday, March 19. The winner will be determined by a vote of all NWCA Division I Member Coaches.
The National Coach of the Year award presented by Defense Soap is in its second year of existence and is intended to honor the coach who has had the most outstanding season up to the NCAA Championship which includes dual meet success and conference tournament placement.