Miller invited to compete in NWCA All-Star Classic

Kent State’s Ian Miller pins his opponent and watches as the time ends in his final match of the MAC Championship Sunday, March 9, 2014. Miller defeated his opponent from Central Michigan and finished first in his weight class winning him a Mid-American Conference title.

Richie Mulhall

Kent State junior Ian Miller, a 2013-2014 All-American wrestler, has been selected to participate in the National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Star Classic, presented by the United States Marine Corps and the Wrestlers in Business Network on Nov. 1 at The Palestra, located on the University of Pennsylvania’s campus.

Miller’s invitation to the tournament, hosted by Penn and WIBN-Philadelphia, follows a fourth place finish last season at the 2014 NCAA Championships that earned him All-American honors for the first time in his three-year collegiate career.

“It shows that he’s one of the best guys in the country, and it’s an honor being invited to this event,” coach Jim Andrassy said of Miller. “It’s exciting for him, and it’s exciting for our program.”

Still competing at 157 pounds, just as he did last season, Miller will finally get his rematch against Nebraska’s James Green one month from now at the All-Star Classic, which will be conducted in a dual meet format.

The highly anticipated matchup is already being touted by the NWCA, who called Miller and Green, “two of the most entertaining wrestlers in the nation,” according to a press release on

“They are the two most dynamic wrestlers in the country as far as how they wrestle and how they score points,” Andrassy said. “One of the reasons we really pushed Ian to want to wrestle in it was to give us a little insight of where he’s at.”

Miller met Green last season in his semifinal bout of the NCAA Championships. A No. 1 seed at the time, Green scored back points on Miller in all three periods of the match and added a 5:44 riding time advantage to a 13-1 major decision victory over Miller.

This time around, Miller eyes a little redemption for the loss to Green and the third-place finish that eluded him at last year’s national tournament.

“That fourth (place) finish at the end of the year was anticlimactic,” Andrassy said. “The way he lost — if you look at who Ian beat compared to who Green beat, there’s no comparison in regard to who Green beat, there’s no comparison as far as to get (as far as they) got, but ultimately, when it comes to head-to-head, Ian lost to him.”

Miller is the second Kent State wrestler in the program history to receive an invite to the NWCA All-Star Classic. The first Flash to do so was two-time All-American Nic Bedelyon. In the 2011 All-Star Classic, Bedelyon topped Oklahoma’s Jarrod Patterson, 7-3.

Green, a three-time All-American, entered the 2014 NCAA Championships as the top seed in the 157-pound bracket and finished third, ahead of Miller.

A two-time MAC champion at 157 pounds, Miller currently ranks third in the nation in preseason polls.

Andrassy said it’s hard to gauge where Miller will end up this early in the season, but believes Miller has a chance to repeat last season’s success.

“I definitely think All-American (status) is the way to go,” he said. “I think after last year anything but the finals would be a little bit of disappointment. It’s just such a hard question right now, especially at that weight class. I hope that Ian can continue to progress like he has the last year and he goes in (to the NCAA Championships) as the favorite to win the whole thing.”

The Kent State wrestling team will hold its first official practice Friday, Oct. 10, and will conduct its second annual outdoor practice on Risman Plaza on Wednesday, Oct. 15.

The Flashes open their season Nov. 8 at the Brockport/Oklahoma Invitational.

Contact Richie Mulhall at [email protected].