Mitcheff named MAC Wrestler of the Year

Rachel Jones

As if he did not have enough titles and awards in his wrestling career, senior Danny Mitcheff can add Mid-American Conference Wrestler of the Year to his collection.

Mitcheff won the title Tuesday after all of the coaches in the conference voted for who the annual honor. Mitcheff said his coach broke the news subtly.

“(Kent State coach Jim Andrassy) texted me, and he said ‘Take a look at the Web site,’” Mitcheff said, laughing.

Although Mitcheff added that he was surprised he won, Andrassy said his wrestler was deserving of the award.

“Well, I voted for him,” Andrassy said with a laugh. “… If you look at the conference —who had the best year, how their overall season went and who made the biggest impact — there were 11 returning All-Americans this year at the 133-pound spot, and you see Danny beat each one of those guys.”

Mitcheff said he felt good knowing that many of the coaches in the MAC thought he deserved Wrestler of the Year.

“It’s a pretty cool accomplishment, considering all of the good wrestlers there,” he said.

Andrassy credits Mitcheff’s work ethic for the title.

“He isn’t the most talented, and he isn’t the most athletic,” Andrassy said. “He just works extremely hard compared to most of the people who wrestle.”

The senior (34-6) earned an All-American title this season with a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Championships. At the MAC Championships, Mitcheff won the 133-pound class and was also voted the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler for the second year in a row. Mitcheff also set a Kent State record for most career wins (131).

“Becoming an All-American was by far the most important thing for me, but (Wrestler of the Year) is right there next to it,” Mitcheff said.

Mitcheff becomes the second Kent State wrestler in two years to earn the award, as Jermail Porter won last season. Before that, however, Don Horning was the last wrestler to win for the Flashes since 1985.

Andrassy said the recent accolades speak for how far the wrestling program has come and how promising it is for Kent State in the future.

“I think that we have good freshmen on our team,” Andrassy said. “We have a pretty good situation to put ourselves in the position where we could win a lot of awards these next few years.”

Andrassy said Mitcheff might return to help out the team as a volunteer assistant, but either way, he will be missed.

“If I could have 30 Dannys, we would have one of the best teams ever,” Andrassy said. “And I’m not talking about Danny’s wrestling ability, I’m talking about his work ethic in the classroom, how he behaves socially and how he is a leader on the team. There are a lot of areas that make Danny who he is; it just isn’t his wrestling.”

Contact sports reporter Rachel Jones at [email protected].