The 2011-12 wrestling season is right around the corner with the Generals lacing up their shoes for the opening VMI wrestling tournament November, 5th. With nearly 50 returning All-Americans in division III it is going to be an electrifying, competitive battle till the end in Wisconsin, Lacrosse.
The doors of the renowned “Archie Mathis” wrestling room open up for official practice October 10th. Our Generals wrestling family want to celebrate this upcoming season to Coach Mathis, who guided W&L wrestling program to its greatest success as head coach from 1925-1942 and remains one of the University’s all-time greatest coaches in any sport. The 1942 Calyx recognized his commitment stating, “Washington and Lee University has many fine traditions, white columns, ivy-covered walls, the Honor System. Archie Mathis had placed wrestling with these others. He set a code of fellowship, sportsmanship and the will to win for the entire student body.”
Coach Mathis left behind a record that speaks for itself. During those 17 years he had nine unbeaten teams, 11 conference champions, and “his men” won 138, lost 33, and tied 2 matches to give Mathis a winning average of .807. His final team at W&L, the 1941-42 squad, finished a fittingly perfect 6-0.
W&L……24 North Carolina State…..8
W&L……22 Virginia Tech………….6
Mathis and six of his former wrestlers gave their lives while serving the country in World War II. The honorable leaders were part of the framework in emerging our sport. Amateur wrestling grew after World War II, various collegiate athletic conferences also increased the number and quality of their wrestling competition, with more wrestlers making the progression of wrestling in high school, being recruited by college
coaches, and then entering collegiate competition. We celebrate Coach Mathis and
his wrestlers for their hard work and passion.