The team that shocked the college wrestling world will be honored this week at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma. In 1947, Cornell College won the all-division NCAA championship and with an enrollment of 650 is the smallest school to ever win the national title.
Current Cornell wrestling coach Mike Duroe says it was the only private school to ever win the NCAA championship, and the only school to win the NCAA and AAU championship in the same year. Duroe says the AAU championship at that time was almost more important that the NCAA championship.
At that tournament Cornell snapped Oklahoma State’s string of seven consecutive national titles. Duroe says it’s incredible when you look at the competitiveness of wrestling at the time. The championship was the crowning feat for then coach Paul Scott who also led Cornell to third place finishes in 1949 and 1950.
Duroe says Scott was the master at getting the most out of his wrestlers. He was also able to get some great wrestlers to transfer. A ceremony honoring the 60th anniversary of Cornell’s national championship will be held on Friday night and it is all part of a weekend in which 10 members will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Duroe says at least a half dozen of the teammembers from the 1947 team will he on hand for the ceremony.