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University of Chicago Department of Athletics & Recreation

Leo Kocher Inducted into NWCA Hall of Fame

Leo Kocher Inducted into NWCA Hall of Fame

NWCA Hall of Fame Release

CHICAGO – University of Chicago Head Wrestling Coach Leo Kocher was honored as an inductee into the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) Division III Hall of Fame on Wednesday.

Kocher is part of the six-member NWCA Hall of Fame Class of 2019. The group will be celebrated on Saturday, August 3 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. at the NWCA Convention.

The veteran head coach will begin his 41st season at the helm of the Maroons in the 2019-20 academic year. Over the course of his decorated career, he has accumulated 17 University Athletic Association team titles and four top-15 team finishes at the NCAA Division III Championships. UChicago has produced 25 All-Americans and two individual NCAA champions as well.

"It's always gratifying to be recognized by your peers," Kocher said. "But a bigger honor has been bestowed on me by our University. That is trusting me since 1980 to teach – through the most psychologically and physically grueling of collegiate sports – life lessons to outstanding young men at the University of Chicago."

The 2018-19 Maroons posted a 10-3 dual meet record while winning the UAA title. Junior Kyle Peisker (184 lbs. – 5th place) and first-year Ben Sarasin (174 lbs. – 7th place) both achieved All-American honors at the NCAA Championships.

Kocher previously received the UAA Founders Medal in February 2018, and a lifetime service award from the Illinois Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2013. The University also presented him with the Norman Maclean Faculty Award in 2015.