The Daily Illini

The Illinois Wrestling Team released their schedule for the upcoming season. The team will have dual with teams that are nonconference meets.

Illinois releases 2021-2022 wrestling schedule

By Claire O'Brien, Sports Digital Content Editor September 15, 2021

The Illinois wrestling team released its schedule Wednesday. For the first time since the 2019-2020 school year, Illinois will have nonconference meets on the schedule. The Illini open their schedule...

Athletic director Josh Whitman (left) poses with new head wrestling coach Mike Poeta at a press conference Thursday. Poeta takes over for recently retired coach Jim Heffernan.

Poeta begins new chapter in wrestling program

By Will Payne, Assistant Sports Editor April 25, 2021

When Mike Poeta was introduced to the Illinois faithful as the new wrestling coach, he knew he had big shoes to fill. However, all early signs are pointing to the fact that Poeta was a fantastic hire for...

New head wrestling coach Mike Poeta instructs a wrestler from the sidelines during the meet against Purdue on Jan. 22. Poeta was previously the assistant coach for four years but was promoted after previous head coach Jim Heffernan retired.

Mike Poeta announced as new wrestling head coach

By Will Payne, Assistant Sports Editor April 21, 2021

Today, the Illinois wrestling program named Mike Poeta their new head coach. The 35-year-old has spent the last four years as an assistant on recently retired head coach Jim Heffernan’s staff. Director...

Illinois head wrestling coach Jim Heffernan shakes the hand of a wrestler after a match against Purdue on Jan. 22. Heffernan has just announced his retirement after 29 years in the Illinois wrestling program.

Illinois wrestling coach Jim Heffernan announces retirement

By Will Payne, Assistant Sports Editor April 8, 2021

After a combined 29 years with the University of Illinois wrestling program, head coach Jim Heffernan has announced his retirement. During his time with the Illini, Heffernan led the wrestling program...

Lucas Byrd throws his opponent to the ground during competition. Byrd recently placed fifth at the NCAA Championships.

Byrd continues family wrestling legacy, places fifth in NCAA Championships debut

By Andre Thomas, Contributing Writer March 29, 2021

All athletes have something that motivates them to continue striving for greatness. What motivates you? Redshirt freshman Lucas Byrd is motivated to wrestle because every man in his family is a wrestler,...

Senior Dylan Duncan wrestles against a man from Rutgers at the 2021 NCAA DI Wrestling Championships in St. Louis, Missouri this weekend. Dylan Ducan and Lucas Byrd tied for fifth after competing with some of the best wrestlers in the nation.

Byrd, Duncan finish fifth at NCAA Championships

By Andre Thomas, Contributing Writer March 23, 2021

Last year, all spring and winter NCAA championships were canceled due to COVID-19, despite the fact that seven Illini wrestlers were selected to participate. March Madness is filled with multiple tournaments...

Redshirt freshman Lucas Byrd lifts his opponent off the ground while competing at the Big Ten Championships on Sunday. Byrd placed 3rd in the 133-pounds weight class.

Byrd carries struggling Illini in Big Ten tournament

By Carson Gourdie, Assistant Sports Editor March 8, 2021

With Penn State hosting the Big Ten championship, it was no “Happy Valley." The stands were filled with a few parents and cardboard cutouts, creating an eerie championship setting. Combined with a lackluster...

Illini wrestler Matt Wroblewski begins a match against Purdue on Jan. 24 at Huff Hall. Wroblewski has taken advantage of COVID-19 by working on his strength as the playoffs approach.

Illini look to continue success as playoffs approach

By Isaac Heppner, Staff Writer February 15, 2021

It’s no secret that the Illini wrestling team is currently one of the best in the country. They are 5-2 and have numerous athletes on the team who have shined all season. With the Big Ten Championships...

Redshirt junior Matt Wroblewski wrestles his opponent during the match against Northwestern on Sunday. Illinois won the match 31-6.

Illini split matches with Minnesota, Northwestern over weekend

By Isaac Heppner, Staff Writer February 8, 2021

The No. 9 ranked Illini had a busy past couple of days this weekend, as they were defeated 13-25 by the Minnesota Gophers on Friday. They bounced back Sunday night, taking down the Northwestern Wildcats...

Sophomore Zac Braunagel works to flip his opponent  during the meet against Purdue on Jan. 22. The Illini will face off against Minnesota tonight in Minneapolis.

No. 9 Illinois travels to Minnesota, Northwestern in weekend doubleheader

By Isaac Heppner, Staff Writer February 4, 2021

The Illinois men’s wrestling team has a busy weekend, as they will travel to Minneapolis to take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Friday, followed by a matchup against the Northwestern Wildcats on...

Freshman Luke Odom locks his opponents arm during the meet against Purdue on Jan. 24. Odom picked up ones of two Illinois wins during the meet against Iowa on Sunday.

Illinois’ perfect run comes to an end in loss to No. 1 Iowa

By Isaac Heppner, Staff Writer February 1, 2021

The Illini men’s wrestling team suffered their first loss of the season to the Iowa Hawkeyes on Sunday. The No. 9 ranked Illini were defeated 36-6 as they move to 4-1 on the season. Freshman Luke Odom...

Sophomore Luke Luffman prepares to wrestling during competition. Luffman is one of four Illinois wrestlers who are undefeated so far this season.

Illini, Hawkeyes meet in battle to remain undefeated

By Isaac Heppner, Staff Writer January 30, 2021

The Illinois men’s wrestling team is set to take on the No. 1 ranked Iowa Hawkeyes this Sunday in Iowa City. The Illini are off to a great start this season at 4-0, and will be put to the test this weekend....

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