Santoro Named ACC Coach of the Year; Taylor Is Wrestler of the Year

March 31, 2008

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Maryland wrestling head coach Pat Santoro was named the 2008 ACC Coach of the Year and sophomore Hudson Taylor was tabbed the Wrestler of the Year as announced March 31 by the Atlantic Coast Conference. Santoro led the Terrapins to their first conference crown since 1973 and Taylor earned All-America status at the NCAA Championships, the first Terp since 1997 to do so.

The Terps went 16-4 in 2007-08 under Santoro and went 5-0 in the ACC for the second-straight season. Maryland's .800 winning percentage this season established a new record and its 33 wins the last two years is more than any other two-year span in Terps history.

Santoro and the rest of the Terps won the 2008 ACC Championship on March 8 at Comcast Center, their first title since 1973. Five wrestlers claimed individual championships and six represented Maryland at the NCAA Championships in St. Louis, the most entrants for the Terps since 1990. All six of the wrestlers Maryland sent to nationals were underclassmen, as four of them were sophomores in eligibility and two were true freshmen.

Maryland has steadily improved every year at the NCAA Championships under Santoro who mentored his first Terp All-American in Taylor. Maryland finished tied for 21st this season which was its best showing since 1992 and was the best for an ACC team since 2004.

Santoro guided Maryland back into the national rankings this year, climbing as high as No. 21. It was the first time that the Terps had been ranked since 1993. Included in the 16 wins was one of the most impressive dual meet victories in school history when the Terps beat No. 5 Michigan, 18-16, on November 24. The Terps also won at No. 22 Navy, marking the first time Maryland had won in Annapolis in 22 years. It was the first time Maryland had beaten the Midshipmen since 1997.

Taylor's third-place finish was the best for a Terp at the NCAA Championships since 1992. The Pennington, N.J., product went 6-1 at the tournament with wins against three seeded opponents including three-time All-American and defending national champion Josh Glenn.

Taylor won the 197 pound title at the ACC Championships on March 8 at Comcast Center to complete a perfect season against conference competition at 10-0. Half of those wins came by way of fall.

Taylor finished the season with a 37-3 overall record. His win total was tied for the most in the ACC and tied for the eighth highest in all of Division I including every weight class. Eighteen of his wins came by fall which was second in the conference and tied for third nationally.

Each of his three losses this season was to an All-American. Two of them came against Penn State's Phil Davis who won the 197-pound national championship. His other came to Dallas Herbst of Wisconsin who finished sixth.

Taylor was named ACC Wrestler of the Week a staggering five times which was more than any other team's total number of honors.