Claremore Daily Progress

February 12, 2013

Ex-Zebra selected for NCAA Div. II Wrestling Hall of Fame

UCO MEDIA RELATIONS
UCO MEDIA RELATIONS

EDMOND — A trio of Central Oklahoma greats who combined for eight national championships and 339 career wins have been selected for induction into the NCAA Division II Wrestling Hall of Fame, it was announced Tuesday.

Four-time national champion Cole Province along with two-time winners Mark Dodgen and Shawn Silvis who will be honored during the NCAA Division II Hall of Fame Wrestling Banquet on Thursday, March 7 in Birmingham, Ala.  The 2013 Division II Wrestling Championships will be held in Birmingham March 8-9.

That threesome will bring to 13 the number of UCO wrestlers in the Division II Wrestling Hall of Fame.  The Bronchos have won seven national championships since joining Division II in 1990.

Province came to UCO from Claremore High School and redshirted his first year before capturing four consecutive national titles while wrestling every match of his career at 133 pounds.

He went 34-10 with 17 bonus-point wins as a redshirt freshman in 2000-01, winning the first of four straight Midwest Regional titles before going on to take the national championship with a 7-4 finals victory to avenge an earlier loss.

Province had 12 bonus-point wins in finishing 34-11 record as a sophomore, winning 17 of his last 18 matches to take both the regional and national titles once again.  He capped the national tournament with an 11-3 major decision in the finals as UCO stormed to a runaway win in the team race.

An elbow injury forced Province to miss the first two months of the 2002-03 season, but he dominated on his return to the mat in becoming the first-ever UCO wrestler to go undefeated (26-0) while leading the Bronchos to a repeat team title.  Province was named the Midwest Regional Wrestler of the Year and earned Outstanding Wrestler honors at the national tournament after claiming his third crown with four easy wins.

Province ended his career in style as a senior in 2003-04, racking up 16 bonus-point wins and finishing 36-1. His lone loss was to the eventual Division I national champion and Province finished the season with 28 straight wins in becoming the school’s second four-time national champion and just the 14th in college wrestling history. He was named the Lone Star Conference Male Athlete of the Year despite UCO being the only school in the conference to sponsor wrestling.

Province won 74 of his last 75 matches — taking 46 straight at one point — and finished with a 130-22 career record that included 60 bonus-point wins.