North Dakota State Bison wrestling

The North Dakota State Bison Wrestling team is part of the athletic program at the North Dakota State University (NDSU) in Fargo, North Dakota. They are members of the NCAA Division I and the Big 12 Conference (NDSU's main conference, The Summit League, does not sponsor wrestling). The Bison are coached by Roger Kish.

NDSU Bison
NDSU Wrestling
Name North Dakota State Bison
Location Fargo, North Dakota
Team Founded 1957
Athletic Director Matt Larsen since 2014)
Head Coach Roger Kish (University of Minnesota, 2008)
Home Bison Sports Arena (capacity 6,000)
Conference Big 12


NDSU wrestling began in 1957 when head coach Tom Neuberger led the team to victory in their first dual meet against Valley City State University. Neuberger passed the coaching reins to Bucky Maughan in 1964. Since that time, NDSU has won four NCAA Division II wrestling titles, 30 individual national champions, and 159 All-Americans.[1] The first National Champions were Bob Backlund and Bill Demaray in 1971. The team has since transitioned to NCAA Division I and were first eligible for the Division I National Tournament in 2007.

The Bison have had only three permanent head wrestling coaches in their history. Tom Nueberger coached the team from 1957-1963. During that time, Don Lemnus serve as acting coach in 1961. In 1964 National Wrestling Hall of Fame member Bucky Maughan took over the program and led the team through four Division II titles and NDSU's transition to Division I. On May 17, 2011 Bucky Maughan announced his retirement. His replacement is Roger Kish, who was a two-time NCAA runner-up at the University of Minnesota.

In 2013-14, the Bison wrestling team had its best season to date as a Division I school. The team reached its highest ranking of 20th in the USA Today polls and finished 21st in the national championship. Steven Monk finished third at the NCAA championships at 165 pounds. Monk was the eighth Bison wrestler to earn All-American status and the second since the school completed its transition to Division I, after Trent Sprenkle, who finished fifth at the 125 pound weight class in 2013. In 2015, Hayden Zillmer (6th at 184) and Kurtis Julson (8th at 174) were the only two WWC athletes to earn All-America honors. After the season, it was announced that NDSU and other WWC schools would merge with the Big 12 Conference.

The McCormick Wrestling Complex was completely renovated in 2000 with funding from longtime NDSU booster John L. McCormick. One of the premier wrestling practice facilities in the country, it offers 6,300 square feet of space on the second level of the Bison Sports Arena, including a cardiovascular training room and a team lounge with video equipment.

The cardio room is equipped with cross trainers, a treadmill, exercise bikes, weights and television. The video room features state-of-the-art equipment, computers, stereo, television and meeting room capabilities.[2]

1Tom Nueberger1957–1960,1962–1963
2Don Lemnus*1961
3Bucky Maughan1964–2011
4Roger Kish2011–present
  • (-acting)

Home meets are held at the Bison Sports Arena in Fargo. The arena holds about 6,000 fans and features a video scoreboard. NDSU has hosted the NCAA Division II Wrestling tournament three times at the Sports Arena. Prior to the opening of the Sports Arena in 1970, NDSU wrestled at Bentson Bunker Fieldhouse on campus.


NCAA Division II team titles: 1988, 1998, 2000, 2001

North Central Conference Division II team titles: 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2004

Western Wrestling Conference team titles: (Division I): 2013, 2014, 2015

Individual accomplishments

Mitch Bengtson

-WWC 141lb champion: 2015

-Daktronics open 141lb champion: 2014

Cordell eaton

-Bison Open 197lb Champion: 2016

Andrew Fogarty

-Bison Open 165lb Champion: 2016

Kyle Gliva

-Bison Open 149lb Champion: 2016

Kurtis Julson

-WWC 174lb champion: 2015

-Daktronics open 174lb champion: 2014

Evan Knutson

-Daktroncis Open 285lb champion: 2014

Tyler McNutt

- Bison Open 184lb Champion: 2016

-Dragon Open White Division 174lb champion: 2014

-Ridgewater Open 174lb champion: 2015

Steven Monk

-Midlands Championships 165lb champion: 2013

Nick O'Brien

-Cobber Open Maroon Division 133lb champion: 2014

-Dragon Open White Division 133lb champion: 2014

-Ridgewater Open 133lb champion: 2015

Charley Popp

-Ridgewater Open 165lb champion: 2015

Clay Ream

-WWC 149lb champion: 2015

- Bison Open 157lb Champion: 2016

Josh Rodriguez

-WWC 125lb champion: 2015

-Bison Open 125lb Champion: 2016

Ben Tynan

-Bison Open 285lb Champion: 2016

Mark Voss

-Ridgewater Open 149lb champion: 2015

Hayden Zillmer

-WWC 184lb champion: 2015

-Bison open 184lb champion: 2014


  1. "NDSU Wrestling History" (PDF). North Dakota State University Athletics. Retrieved 2014. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  2. "NDSU Wrestling Facilities". NDSU Athletics. Retrieved 2014. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
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