Fornicoia to be inducted into Division III Hall of Fame
Fornicoia will be the fifth Auggie to be named to the Division III Wrestling Hall of Fame, joining wrestlers Steve Gliva ’85, John Beatty ’90, Gary Kroells ’93 and Dan Lewandowski ’97, along with former head coach Jeff Swenson ’79.
He will be honored at a ceremony at the La Crosse Center on Thursday at 6 p.m. Joining Fornicoia in the induction class of 2011 are wrestlers Zack Kallai of Case Western Reserve (Ohio) and Jason Ott of Wisconsin-La Crosse, along with former coaches Dave Kemmy of Roger Williams (R.I.), Steve DeVries of Cornell (Iowa) and Gene Nighman of Cortland State (N.Y.), as well as contributor Terry Shockley of Augustana (Ill.).
Fornicoia earned All-America honors three times as an Auggie, winning the 118-pound national title in 1993. He finished fourth nationally at 118 in 1991 and eighth at 118 in 1992. Fornicoia finished 39-9-1 his sophomore season, 38-6-1 his junior season and 37-6 in his senior campaign as a three-year starter for the Auggies. His career record was 136-25-2. Fornicoia was a part of Augsburg squads that won two national titles (1991, 1993) and had two national runner-up finishes (1990, 1992).
Fornicoia proved to be one of the keys in Augsburg earning its 1993 team national title, the second team title for the Auggies in program history. Entering the final round of the national meet, Augsburg trailed Wartburg in the team race, but Fornicoia’s 5-4 win over Wartburg’s Zane Braggs in the 118-pound national championship match put Augsburg ahead to stay.
He also earned Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles in both 1992 and 1993, as part of Auggie squads that won conference crowns each of his four seasons. As a team, Augsburg went 57-3 in dual meets in Fornicoia’s career, including part of a 65-match winning streak that spanned from 1988 to 1992.
Fornicoia was also a member of Augsburg’s cross country team for two seasons. As a high school wrestler at Richfield High School, he was a state titlist in 1989 and a two-time state tournament qualifier.
After graduation, Fornicoia served Augsburg for several seasons as an assistant coach. He was an English education major at Augsburg. For the past 14 years, he has served as a teacher and wrestling assistant coach at Eastview High School in Apple Valley, Minn.
The NWCA Division III Wrestling Hall of Fame has honored NCAA Division III wrestlers, coaches and contributors since 1989. Augsburg has been an NCAA Division III member since 1983. To be considered for Hall of Fame induction, wrestlers must be three-time All-Americans or two-time national champions.