In the fall of 1997, first-year head coach Lonnie Morris was just getting the Johnson & Wales University wrestling program off the ground. Next month, he will receive the sport’s highest honor when he is inducted into the National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III Hall of Fame.
The ceremony will take place on August 3, 2019, at the NWCA Convention in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Joining Morris in the class of 2019 inductees are two former JWU student-athletes – John Gemmel (Ithaca College) and Tim Jacoutot (The College of New Jersey).
Twice, including this year, Morris has been named NWCA National Coach of the Year and he has been named regional coach of the year seven times. During his tenure, JWU has produced 34 regional champions and 28 All-Americans. In 2018, Jay Albis became the Wildcats’ first national champion when he claimed the title at 125 pounds. He repeated that feat in 2019. This season also saw JWU record its best showing at the NCAA Championships with a third-place finish.
A native Rhode Islander, giving back is also very important to Morris. He and his team are very active in the community service field with over 200 hours spent helping Beat the Streets Providence and conducting many clinics at clubs and high schools throughout the northeast. Read full announcement.