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MSOE Wrestling reaches milestone

Feb. 6, 2013

MSOE Wrestling reaches milestone
Coach Kevin Morin celebrates career milestone: 100 dual meet wins

Wrestling is a part of Kevin Morin’s DNA. The West Allis resident is the head wrestling coach at Milwaukee School of Engineering. He began wrestling with his brothers when he was in third grade and his oldest brother Keith was a freshman in high school. His brother joined the wrestling team and practiced his moves at home with Kevin and his other brothers, Kenny and Kent. In sixth grade, he began practicing with the 7th and 8th grade team (big brother Keith was one of the coaches and pulled a few strings) and has been involved with the sport ever since.

Morin attended Greenfield High School and was a member of their wrestling team and was a two-time high school All-American. He then earned a scholarship to attend Marquette University and be a part of their wrestling team. Morin excelled on Marquette’s team, winning the National Catholic Tournament two times and placing at the regional competition.

After graduation in 1978, Morin joined the staff at Milwaukee School of Engineering as an admission counselor. MSOE’s wrestling program got off the ground in 1990, and while MSOE was very interested in having Morin as the coach, he now had too many family commitments to take on coaching duties. However, the coach resigned during the 1993-94 season. The athletics staff asked Morin once again if he’d be the team’s coach. He agreed to take over for the rest of the season and help MSOE hire a coach for the following year.

In just half a season with the Raiders, Morin was hooked on coaching. He has been the head wrestling coach ever since and is now in his 20th season with the team. “In my first year of coaching there were four guys on the team,” said Morin. “I called them the Faithful Four because they were so dedicated.”

Morin’s favorite part of coaching is seeing the guys develop. “The difference between high school wrestling and collegiate wrestling is significant. College wrestlers comprise the top 25% of high school wrestlers. It’s always fun seeing the guys come in after successful high school careers and realizing that every match will be tough because their opponents are so good at the collegiate level.”

Some of the highlights that stand out in Morin’s memory include beating arch rival Concordia University in a dual meet for the first time, and also beating nationally-ranked UW-Oshkosh—at Oshkosh. For most student athletes at MSOE, academics come first and it is no different for the wrestling team. For four years (2002-2005) MSOE received awards for having the highest GPA in the nation among Division III wrestling teams. In three of those years, the team also won the conference championships.

“Having some of my guys qualify for the national tournament was a great accomplishment,” said Morin. “Seven different wrestlers have competed nationally and two of them became NCAA All-Americans. In 2003 and 2004, we had back-to-back All-Americans. When I took over coaching, we worked to simply field a full team and we dreamed of having national qualifiers and All-Americans.

In his 20-year career as the wrestling coach, Morin’s dedication has paid off. During the season he works 70-85 hours per week as both MSOE’s director of human resources and as the head wrestling coach. That dedication has led his teams to six conference championships, and in 2012-13 Morin and the wrestling program reached a milestone: 100 dual meet wins.

“I enjoy seeing my wrestlers be successful and how the sport has helped them make it through college. Wrestling was their reprieve,” said Morin.

MSOE is an independent, non-profit university with about 2,500 students. MSOE offers 20 bachelor’s degrees and nine master’s degrees in engineering, business, mathematics and nursing. The university has a national academic reputation; longstanding ties to business and industry; dedicated professors with real-world experience; a 94% placement rate; and the highest average starting and mid-career salaries of any Wisconsin university according to PayScale Inc. MSOE graduates are well-rounded, technologically experienced and highly productive professionals and leaders.

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