The season isn't yet over — next weekend's NCAA tournament is still on the calendar — but already the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling team is reloading.
The Mocs added two-time NCAA qualifier Corey Mock from North Carolina to next year's squad, and he's expected to slide quickly into the spot currently held by senior 165-pounder Josh Condon.
"I love Chapel Hill. It's an awesome place and it's where I grew up," said Mock, a Tar Heels junior who's sitting with a redshirt year this season.
Mock had two years as a starter at UNC and has a collegiate record of 63-29 with 15 pins, six technical falls and 14 major decisions. He is the son of Tar Heels coach C.D. Mock.
"I have a great relationship with my dad, but the academics here are really tough and I guess I'm a wrestler first, plus I want to be on my own," he said when asked why he was transferring.
The coach's son was detained by Chapel Hill police last February for his part in a late-night melee and later was charged with one count of "simple affray" and one count of resisting arrest, according to the Daily Tar Heel newspaper. Both are misdemeanors.
He said Thursday night, though, that the incident was overblown and was well behind him.
"I'm trying to become a teacher, and UTC has a good reputation for preparing those who want to teach," he said.
"I think it's a good pickup for us," Mocs coach Heath Eslinger said. "Obviously he has proven he can win. I think he's ready for a new start and to really do things the right way over the next two years.
"Corey is a lot like Coach [Jon] Sioredas (former Moc now on the UTC staff) when he came here as a transfer from Missouri several years ago. He wasn't all in at Missouri, but when he came here he drank the Kool-Aid and was all in. I think that's what we're going to see from Corey."
The Mocs won Mock over when he visited about a month ago.
"I liked the team, the atmosphere and the coaches," he said. "It's an up-and-coming program and I'd like to be a part of that."
Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...