The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling program just got stronger.
Looking to bolster the program's lower weights, coach Heath Eslinger has signed two-time NCAA qualifier Sean Boyle to wrestle at 125 pounds for the Mocs.
"Sean gives us an impact wrestler immediately," Eslinger said. "He's just a good all-around kid and he's going to be a huge help for us."
Boyle, who graduated from the University of Michigan, was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA because he missed a season while recovering from labrum surgery. At the NCAA tournament in 2011, he reached the round of 12 and was but a single point shy of gaining All-America status and reached the tournament's round of 16 the following year.
"I wanted a fresh start to get my Master's degree (secondary education) and to also use that year of eligibility. I knew I'd have a good workout partner. Nick Soto, the 133-pounder, is really solid and I seemed to click with Coach Elsinger. It's a good fit," Boyle said.
Eslinger mixed and matched his 125-pound competitors, all redshirt freshmen, last season, using Campbell Lewis, Byron Smith, Zach Bridson and Austin Gould. Lewis had a 2-5 record (2-1 in the Southern Conference), Smith was 7-16 (2-2), Bridson went 3-6 and Gould was 0-2.
Boyle, whose brother Casey wrestled at UNC-Greensboro from 2007-2010, brings a blend of offensive skill, athletic ability and quickness to the weight class.
When asked to describe himself, he said, "I'm a pretty technical wrestler, and I think I'm athletic. I'm pretty quick and I have a good offense."
He likes the idea of working out often with Soto, a three-time NCAA qualifier and his roommate this season, and has found Chattanooga and the team to his liking.
"There's a solid lineup and a good team, and I have already found that Coach Eslinger is a really good role model. The team is basically a really tight-knit group of guys and everyone has made me feel welcome," he said. "Chattanooga has a small-town feel to me and I'm loving it so far."
A two-time fourth-place medalist in the Big Ten tournament, Boyle was a high school senior national champion in 2009 and won national prep championships in 2008 and 2009 on his way to a high school record of 188-7. He posted a career record of 89-53 at Michigan.
Contact Ward Gossett at email@example.com or 423-886-4765. Follow him at Twitter.com/wardgossett.