Augsburg alums LeVesseur, Lewandowski to be named to NWCA D-III Hall of Fame

MINNEAPOLIS — Augsburg University men’s wrestling alumni Marcus LeVesseur ’07 and Nik Lewandowski ’01, key members of one of the most successful eras of Auggie wrestling history, will be inducted into the National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III Hall of Fame during a ceremony in July in Ponte Verde Beach, Fla., it was announced on Monday. The induction ceremony will take place on July 30 at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort and Spa during the NWCA’s annual convention.

Both four-time All-Americans, LeVesseur won four NCAA Division III national championships (2003, 2004, 2005, 2007) and went a perfect 155-0 in his career, while Lewandowski won a national title in 2001 while finishing second twice (1998, 1999) and third once (2000), going 124-34 in his career.

LeVesseur and Lewandowski’s inductions bring the number of Augsburg wrestlers inducted into the NWCA Division III Wrestling Hall of Fame to 10, joining Dan Lewandowski ’97 in 2003, Gary Kroells ’93 in 2005, John Beatty ’90 in 2007, Steve Gliva ’85 in 2010, Nick Fornicoia ’93 in 2011, Joe Hoialmen ’93 in 2012, Jesse Armbruster ’96 in 2014 and Henry Gerten ’98 in 2016. Three Augsburg coaches have also earned NWCA Division III Wrestling Hall of Fame honors — 10-time national champion head coach Jeff Swenson ’79 in 2005, longtime assistant coach Scott Whirley ’82 in 2016, and longtime assistant coach Donny Wichmann ’89 in 2019.

The pair will be part of a six-person class entering the NWCA Division III Wrestling Hall of Fame this year. Also being inducted are wrestlers Josh Chelf of Wisconsin-La Crosse and Florian Ghinea of Montclair State (N.J.), along with contributor John Barrick and longtime Western New England assistant coach Dwayne Dawson.

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.

Marcus LeVesseur made history in 2007 when he became only the second NCAA wrestler ever to complete an unbeaten and untied career, going 155-0 en route to four individual national championships. He was the first NCAA Division III wrestler to ever win four individual national titles, as he claimed crowns at 157 pounds in 2003 (44-0 record), 2004 (40-0 record) and 2005 (40-0 record), and the 165-pound title in 2007 (31-0 record). His 155 victories are one of three unbeaten careers in college wrestling history, behind Cael Sanderson’s 159-0 record at Iowa State (1998-2002) and ahead of the 130-0 record of Joey Davis (Notre Dame College (2012-16).

One of only seven Auggie wrestlers to ever earn four or more All-America honors, LeVesseur was a part of Augsburg teams that won NCAA Division III national titles in 2005 and 2007, while finishing second in 2003 and 2004. He was also a four-time state champion in high school, finishing his prep career at 218-12 with a 141-match unbeaten streak to end his career. He initially enrolled at the University of Minnesota to wrestle but transferred to Augsburg during his first year.

In addition to his exploits on the wrestling mat, he also played for parts of two seasons for Augsburg’s football team as a quarterback. In 2004, he earned All-Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference first-team honors, rushing for 1,024 yards on 256 carries with 10 touchdowns.

After his collegiate career ended, he became a mixed martial artist, compiling a 22-7 professional record. He has been a high school wrestling coach for the past decade, first at Hopkins (Minn.), then at Shakopee (Minn.), where he coached the Sabres to the Minnesota Class 3A state title as interim head coach in 2021. He was named head coach at Eden Prairie (Minn.) High School in 2022.

The second member of the Lewandowski family to join the Division III Wrestling Hall of Fame (older brother Dan was inducted in 2003), Nik Lewandowski played a major role in one of the most successful periods in Augsburg men’s wrestling history.

One of only seven Auggie wrestlers to ever earn four or more All-American honors, Lewandowski was a dominant upper-weight wrestler, winning Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships each of his four seasons (1998 at 177 pounds, 1999, 2000, and 2001 at 184 pounds). In national competition, he finished no lower than third in earning his four All-America honors, finishing as national runner-up at 177 in 1998 (29-6 record) and at 184 in 1999 (29-14 record), finishing third at 184 in 2000 (33-8 record) and winning the national title at 184 in 2001 (33-6 record).

Lewandowski finished with a 124-34 record in his four Auggie campaigns. His final collegiate victory was one of his most dramatic, as he rallied from a 5-1 deficit after two periods to force overtime, then claimed a takedown 14 seconds into overtime for a 7-5 win over Jeremy Miller of Wisconsin-La Crosse in the 2001 184-pound national title match, one of three national crowns for the Auggies en route to their seventh NCAA Division III team title.

Lewandowski was a part of three NCAA Division III team national title squads (1997, 2000, and 2001) and the 1999 national runner-up team. He was also an NWCA Scholar All-American in the 1999-2000 season.

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