Audio Interview: Trevor Franklin
Undefeated Upper Iowa 133-pounder Trevor Franklin was the 2011-12 NCAA Division II Wrestler of the Year. In the middle of his 2nd 1/2 year stint at UIU, Franklin looks forward to his return and is grateful for the opportunity to earn his 3rd NCAA title.
Franklin capped a perfect 28-0 campaign by capturing his second straight Division II national championship March 10 in Pubelo, Colo., winning at 133 pounds this season after taking the 125-pound crown last year.
Franklin is fifth recipient of the award, sponsored by the NCAA Division II Wrestling Coaches' Association and voted on by eight regional representatives from around the country. He was the runaway winner, with Nebraska-Kearney 157-pound national champion T.J. Hepburn coming in second and North Carolina-Pembroke 165-pound national winner Mike Williams third.
"This is a tremendous honor and I am a bit overwhelmed by the recognition," Franklin said. "This award doesn't come to me alone; great coaching and great partners in the wrestling room have pushed me to this point. There are some awards you can control, like national championships, and then there are awards that you can't like this one. It's just great to have others recognize the work put in. I'm grateful for the honor."
Franklin put together a dominating season in 2011-12 for the Peacocks, giving up only four offensive points (two takedowns) in 28 matches, including none in a 4-0 run to the title at the national tournament. He had 16 bonus-point wins, collecting nine falls and seven major decisions.
A product of Unadilla Valley High School in South New Berlin, N.Y., Franklin ended the season with a 44-match winning streak and is 55-2 over the past two seasons. He has won three straight Super Region Three crowns and is undefeated in both Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference and dual meet action for his career.
"The quality and quantity of Division II wrestling is outstanding to say the least," Upper Iowa head coach Heath Grimm said. "Since Upper Iowa's transition into Division II, I have seen the talent level continually climb to new heights each and every season. It is a great honor for Trevor to be recognized for his phenomenal season. The fact that he moved up a weight class, went undefeated and only surrendered four offensive points all season en route to winning his second NCAA championship speaks for itself."
Previous winners of the award were Nebraska-Kearney heavyweight Tervel Dlagnev (2008), Nebraska-Omaha 157-pounder Todd Meneely (2009), Pittsburgh-Johnstown 133-pounder Shane Valko (2010) and Western State 197-pounder Donovan McMahill (2011).